Pro Landscaper November 2018

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Concept to Delivery

November 2018




CONNECT Round table event


COST Case study

Ultimate outdoor entertainment



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Concept to Delivery

November 2018 | Volume 8, Issue 11


November 2018



Ultimate outdoor entertainment


Round table event

Welcome to November 2018 Welcome to the November issue of Pro Landscaper. For the Eljays44 team, this is definitely the busiest and most exciting time of the year. FutureScape is now only three weeks away and the fabulous seminar programme has been finalised. There is already a buzz around the event and visitor registrations are coming in thick and fast. We’re looking forward to watching some of our regular contributors on stage, along with many other well known people in the industry. Most of our team have been out and about meeting people and attending events in the UK and abroad over the past month, and the chance to meet people face to face cannot be underestimated. If you regularly use email or that even older invention, the telephone, there is no better way to form and cement relationships than getting together

Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA Tel: 01903 777 570 EDITORIAL Editorial Director – Lisa Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 579

in person, this is why the networking side of FutureScape is so valuable. We love catching up with visitors and exhibitors alike and FutureScape is where we glean all the latest information about the wider industry, so if you see us at the show please do stop and chat. The landscape is changing rapidly now, and there is lots to do to prepare for winter. See Jeff Stephenson’s column on page 101 where he takes us through the list of jobs he has for November. We caught up with two landscape businesses in our Let’s Hear it From and Company Profile features – Richard Curle owner of Landscape Associates and Acre Landscapes’ owner Nigel Bowcock fill us in on what they’re up to and how they run

ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 585 Sales Manager – Jessica McCabe Tel: 01903 777 587

Content Manager – Rachael Forsyth Tel: 01903 777 578

Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough Tel: 01903 777 584

Editorial Assistant – Amy Fitz-Hugh Tel: 01903 777 583

Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 589

Editorial Assistant – April Waterston Tel: 01903 777 604


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Subscription enquiries – Chris Anderson Tel: 01903 777 570 Design – Kara Thomas, Kirsty Turek

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Case study



Let’s Hear it From RICHARD CURLE



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their companies. Sam Hassall shares a very interesting case study with us and shows how getting a cost consultant on board can save thousands. If you want to know more about Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation winners for 2018, check out the 12 page special in this issue. These bright young professionals will also be attending FutureScape to be presented with their awards, so please congratulate them if you’re there, as this is a huge accolade for them to take forward in their careers. Look forward to seeing you all at FutureScape!


Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Connecting Horticulture Pro Landscaper’s content is available for licensing overseas. Contact jamie.wilkinson@

Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.


Pro Landscaper is proud to be an affiliate member of BALI

Pro Landscaper is published 12 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2018 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts.

Cover image ©Gavin McWilliam


The Association of

Professional Landscapers

Pro Landscaper is proud to be an associate member of The APL

MANAGEMENT Managing Director Jim Wilkinson Director Lisa Wilkinson Business Development Manager Jamie Wilkinson

Pro Landscaper / November 2018


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November 2018 INFORM


Agenda Is ‘flexism’ affecting your business?



News Our monthly roundup of industry news


Association News The latest from SGD, BALI, plants@work, APL and RHS


Pro Landscaper Connect Concept to Delivery

Round table with MEDITE SMARTPLY


Futurescape 2018 The lineup of of speakers and seminars

November 2018




CONNECT Round table event


Ultimate outdoor entertainment

30 Under 30 Noticeboard Faces to see at FutureScape


Let’s Hear It From


COST Case study


Landscape Associates


Company Profile

Let’s Hear it From

Acre Landscapes



Landscape Architect’s Journal D4P Architects


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View From The Top Tim Howell


Mastering Outline Design Andrew Wilson


When Opportunity Knocks



Winners Announced


The Levisham Estate A visit to the North York Moors


Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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Courtyard Calm BBUK Landscape Architecture

The Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment Anji Connell


Love Horticulture Richard McKenna

PWP Landscapes

Names shortlisted for #spBI awards



Scandor Landscape Contractors

Holly Youde


Design in Play


30 Under 30 Winners The class of 2018

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109 Pro Landscaper Business Awards: Winner Profile Ground Control


Man Caves and Outdoor Family Rooms Part 1: Sean Butler

112 How We Did it: A Domestic Garden in London Sam Hassall

115 The Practical Side of Design Josh Noakes


116 Try Before You Buy Angus Lindsay

118 Street Furniture Seating solutions



Nurture News


Andy McIndoe

News from the UK’s growing sector


News Extra Hillier Trees


Designer Plants Ann-Marie Powell


Know Your Plants Noel Kingsbury


White Christmas Ian Drummond

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Evergreen Hedging


Home From Home Jamie Butterworth

101 Between Seasons Jeff Stephenson

102 Tree Planting Four helpful products

105 Nursery Visit Covili Franco Vivai Piante

119 Futurescape: Go And See What’s in store at this year’s event?

124 What I’m Reading? Daniel Shea

125 Look Out For Conor Gallinagh

127 Trading With Isuzu Truck UK

130 Little Interviews Quick-fire questions with the individuals who make up our industry

Pro Landscaper / November 2018


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Tim Howell

Sam Hassall

Jeff Stephenson

Holly Youde

Managing director, Mitie Landscapes Ltd

Principal, LandPRO

Head of horticulture and aftercare, Bowles & Wyer

Creative director, Urban Landscapes Design Ltd

In this month’s issue Tim Howell touches upon the hot topic of employment and the difficulties of attracting and retaining talent in our industry. Tim emphasises the importance of increasing diversity in the workplace in order to engage with a wider audience.

Pricing a project is always a hard task and finding the best price is never easy for the client either. Is hiring a cost consultant the answer? Sam Hassall takes a real-life case study to explore the benefits of having a cost consultant look over a project.

For most people November may be a quiet month, but not for Jeff Stephenson and his team. In this month’s issue, Jeff explains the problems he faces in November including what needs to be planted and how to maintain green spaces throughout the month.

How do you know when or if you should diversify into another area, or play it safe and stick with what you know? In this month’s article Holly looks at the benefits of diversifying your business and how to do it successfully. Are new ventures worth the risk? @TimHowell @SamLandPro @BWaftercare @UrbLandscapes


Other contributors Andrew Wilson Garden designer and lecturer

Ian Drummond Creative director, Indoor Garden Design

Sean Butler Director, Cube 1994

Anji Connell Interior architect and landscape designer

Andy McIndoe Leading horticulturist

Josh Noakes Landscape architect, Fabrik Landscape Architects

Noel Kingsbury Garden designer and writer

Jamie Butterworth Horticultural consultant, London Stone

Angus Lindsay Head of fleet, idverde

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Employers unwilling to offer flexible working hours are causing careers to halt – an attitude known as ‘flexism’

John Wyer

Richard Broome

Chief executive, Bowles & Wyer

Managing and creative director, Outerspace UK

In a service industry the value of the business is built on the collective expertise and experience of all staff, so it makes sense to retain and support them as much as you can afford to. Setting aside commercial reasons, fairness should underpin how as employers we treat our staff. In practical terms this revolves not only the number of hours, but when they start and finish and where people work, such as from home where possible. However, it is potentially difficult for an employer. For site staff it is not practical for them to work anywhere else and sometimes difficult for us to vary their hours. For office staff we are as flexible as we can be, but like to retain at least a majority core of full-time staff based 80% of the time in the office or on site. I guess like many companies, we work on a ‘give and take’ basis and want to be very flexible, but expect a certain amount of flexibility in return when a project needs it. It’s all about trust and balance.

Outerspace has attained the Silver Award in ‘Investors in People’ demonstrating our commitment to staff welfare and values. The combination of professional development and work-life balance is incredibly important to us as a practice to secure long-term, high-quality work and staff retention. The company works very much as a team on a day to day basis, sharing knowledge and skills. With both projects and CPDs, staff members talk through issues and take on board advice as and when they arise. Outerspace supports the idea of a flexible working environment as much as possible and has provided alternative arrangements to support staff as personal circumstances dictate. We also offer a flexible arrangement for staff returning from maternity leave to offer as much support and comfort as possible. However in general we push for a ‘staff togetherness in the office’ wherever possible to maximise professional team support.

Matt O’Conner Managing director, John O’Conner

All employees with more than 26 weeks continuous service have the legal right to make a flexible working request. The request will be considered by a senior member of staff, usually the contract manager. We ask managers to consult with our HR department for any advice during the process and before decisions are reached to ensure all requests are treated with consistency across the business. We will always try to make something work for our employees but occasionally this has not been possible. We have found flexible working can benefit both employees and the company – it can lead to a more efficient and productive workforce and assist with issues, such as holiday cover and out of hours work requirements. We benefit by recruiting and retaining staff, improving staff morale and lower rates of sickness absence. 8

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Giles Heap

Helen Elks-Smith

Managing director, CED Stone Group

Managing director, Elks-Smith Landscape and Garden Design

The law is quite definitive about flexible working hours and requesting them, however I would hope that any company understands that enabling staff to work a little flexibly when needed helps everyone in the long run, including the company. There will be some industries when this is not an option, but I don’t think that ours is one such industry. There has to be compromise in any relationship and the employee/employer relationship is often a difficult one to find a nice, healthy balance, however we are all human and we all have unexpected things crop up. On the other hand, for a company to feel forced into rearranging its entire practice around one person’s part-time availability is nonsensical.

Flexism was a contributing factor to my career change and led me to an industry I am delighted to work in. In some ways I have to be thankful for the inflexible working practices, the competitive early mornings and late-night working of previous large employers. I wanted to be able to spend time with my children and be able to continue to work, but like many women before me I found my options limited. I sought out a better work-life balance. This is a well-worn path, and both men and women switch employers or embark on extensive training to create new opportunities for themselves. It is not an easy journey and there is a pool of hard-working, capable (mostly) women that are simply overlooked.


Have your say:

Looking back to look forward...What have you learnt in your business in 2018 that you will or won’t take forward to 2019?

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NEWS Nurture Landscapes acquires Grace Landscapes

Nurture Landscapes has continued its expansion as it acquires landscape and ground maintenance firm, Grace Landscapes. This comes having acquired Gavin Jones earlier this year in February. Grace Landscapes was founded 39 years ago and has annual sales in excess of £6m, providing grounds maintenance and landscape construction across the north. Grace Landscapes’ major depot office in Yorkshire shall be kept, as will almost the entirety of the 116 staff. The company will continue to trade under its name until the end

of 2018 when it will be rebranded to Nurture Landscapes in January. Speaking his mind on the deal, Tim Grace told Pro Landscaper: “We’ve now completed the deal and we are now part of the Nurture family, which we’re delighted about. It couldn’t be any more perfect – it’s absolutely where we want to be. We feel like we’re joining a family and we’ve worked alongside these people from the start. I think it’s an absolutely perfect fitting – it couldn’t any be any better.”

2018’s Tree of the Year winners revealed Now in its fifth year, the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year contest aims to showcase the UK’s best trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection. The winning trees were announced on BBC One’s The One Show on 17 October and include: Northern Ireland: The Giant Sequoia, Castlewellan Forest Park, County Down England: Nellie’s Tree, Aberford, Leeds Scotland: Netty’s Tree, Eriskay, Outer Hebrides Wales: Pwllpriddog Oak, Rhandirmwyn, Carmarthenshire

The One Show opened public voting to decide which of the four trees should represent the UK in the European contest, run by the Environmental Partnership Association. Kaye Brennan, lead campaigner for the Woodland Trust, says: “Help us select the tree to take forward to the European Tree of the Year awards so we can join the chorus in Europe to demand better recognition for the important role of trees.” Visit the One Show homepage to find out more and place your vote. b007tcw7

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Tim O’Hare Associates appointed to Thamesmead Framework Peabody, is the organisation driving the regeneration of London’s new town, Thamesmead. It has appointed Tim O’Hare Associates (TOHA) to its Thamesmead Framework to provide soil science services. Director of landscape & placemaking at Peabody, Phil Askew, has set out an ambitious process to deliver a landscapeled vision for Thamesmead’s regeneration. He says soil science will play a key role in making the vision a reality. Commenting on

the appointment, Tim says: “We are ecstatic to receive the appointment to provide soil science services on this ambitious project. Having worked with Phil and witnessed his passion and determination to get things absolutely right, we are genuinely excited for our involvement. This is an incredible regeneration at an early stage, and it’s great that we can make a big impact. Thamesmead’s potential

NEWS IN BRIEF LI College of Fellows election result announced

is enormous, and we are looking forward to beginning our work on site. We can’t wait to ensure the green and blue landscape delivers for generations of its residents and the businesses that will want to come to this exciting part of London.”

Green Flag Award announces the winners of the 2018 People’s Choice vote More than 65,000 votes have been cast as the nation picks their favourite UK parks. There were more than 1,800 sites to choose from, all of these meeting the high standards of the Green Flag Award, the international quality mark for parks and green spaces. The 10 winners of the 2018 People’s Choice Award are: • Cassiobury Park, Watford Borough Council

• Clifton Park, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council • Elsecar Park and Local Reservoir Nature Reserve, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council • Saltwell Park, Gateshead Council • Strathaven Park, South Lanarkshire Council • Telford Town Park, Telford and Wrekin Council • University of Essex Wivenhoe Park, University of Essex

• Victoria Park (Tower Hamlets), London Borough of Tower Hamlets • Victoria Park (Widnes), Halton Borough Council • Warley Woods (Sandwell), Warley Woods Community Trust Included in this year’s list of winners are a university campus, a town park, a woodland and a nature reserve.


Adrian Wikeley is the new chair of the Landscape Institute’s College of Fellows. Taking over from Paj Valley FLI, on 1 September.

City Corporation triumphs in London Bloom awards

The City of London Corporation is celebrating after winning seven honours in the 2018 London in Bloom competition.They won Gold and overall winner in the Town category. There were also awards for West Ham Park, Newham, Queen’s Park, Brent, Golder’s Hill Park, Barnet and Postman’s Park in the city. The Hill Garden and Pergola, Hampstead Heath received the honour alongside Keats House in Camden.

BALI Go Landscape increases campaign activity in schools

BALI’s GoLandscape initiative, is ramping up its campaign activities in schools around the UK. Visiting Crawley Careers fair, Durrington High School, Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College’s careers fair, Rugby.

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The APL announce partnership with John Lewis Home Solutions

After months of discussion, APL general manager Phil Tremayne announces that the APL has partnered as the landscaping accrediting body for the John Lewis Home Solutions scheme. This exclusive partnership will enable members to design, build and maintain gardens for John Lewis

customers. John Lewis Home Solutions reached out to The APL to help find quality, experienced landscaping companies that have accreditation and receive ongoing inspections through the APL and Trustmark inspection process. The scheme is exclusively for APL members. If you have an interest in applying for this scheme or membership of APL, contact phil.

London Festival of Architecture launches River View competition As it explores ‘boundaries’ as its theme for 2019, the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) has invited landscape architects, architects, designers and artists to explore how the public can engage with the River Thames. The winning commission will deliver a structure for the Thames Riverside Walkway (North Bank) that will be in situ during the Festival and Illuminated River Project in June 2019.

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Successful projects will deliver sitespecific interventions for one or more of the sites along the North Bank: Outside Fishmongers Hall, Angel Lane, Southwark Bridge by Vintners Hall, and the City of London School. www.londonfestival


website Top seven plants that thrive in shady areas

As the dull greys of winter loom ever closer, plant exposure to sunlight is restricted further and further. Pro Landscaper rounds up seven of the top plants that thrive in shady areas.

The 10 most toxic cities in the UK

A new interactive guide looks at the most toxic cities in the UK. This factors in air pollution levels, active power stations, traffic volume and landfill sites. This highlights the importance of green space and public parks to balance these.

Takeaways from the Silent City environmental conference Silent City, now in its fourth year, is a two-day conference held by leading equipment manufacturer Husqvarna. It focuses on the environmental impact that green spaces and landscaping has on the environment. It aims to inform attendees of how this can be reduced through best practice and cutting-edge equipment.

Winter proofing a client’s garden

Winter is traditionally the time when gardens begin to look a bit jaded. As the temperatures fall and the nights grow darker, it can be all too easy to abandon nature to its own devices. Landscapers know that while winter does whittle plants away, this reduction in greenery can be useful.

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SGD bulletin SGD AWARDS 2019 Shortlist announced: The Society of Garden Designers has announced the finalists in The SGD Awards 2019. A shortlist of 30 projects has been announced across 13 award categories including a Japanese water garden, a floating pocket park, a Moroccan-style courtyard garden and a memorial garden in the grounds of a

RIBA award-winning science laboratory. Chosen by an independent judging panel drawn from experts across the industry, the projects represent some of the very best in garden design from the UK and abroad. The winners of all 19 awards,

Garden by Mandy Buckland MSGD

including the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Grand Award, the Judges’ Award and the People’s Choice Award, will be revealed at The SGD Awards Garden by Sam Westcott ceremony on Friday ©Jason Ingrams 1 February 2019. The Visit event, which returns to London’s the SGD Landmark Hotel, promises to Awards be the highlight of the garden website to design calendar. Tickets for the see images of all the shortlisted ceremony go on sale online on projects in the main 17th October. award categories. Finalists in the two SGD student categories will be announced in October.

BALI briefing BALI announces plans for SALTEX 2018 SALTEX returns to NEC Birmingham, 31 October to 1 November 2018 and BALI has now revealed its plans for the show. Along with its popular BALI Zone trade area, BALI has also secured two guest speakers for Dr David Greenshields the show’s

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Learning LIVE seminars. The first is Dr David Greenshields, Henry Bechelet and the second is Henry Bechelet. The BALI Zone will feature a range of BALI Registered members. BALI shakes up annual membership survey BALI’s annual membership satisfaction survey provides members with the opportunity to share their thoughts and feedback with Landscape House. This year, BALI has organised several rewards that will be made available for any

randomly drawn member who completes the survey, which can be accessed from the My BALI member’s area on the BALI website. BALI Awards 2018 heads towards sell-out status At the time of writing, tickets for the BALI National Landscape Awards 2018 have almost sold out, with over 1,000 members, guests and VIP’s expected to fill The Great Room at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on Friday 7 December. BALI plans to release early version of new website before Christmas

The development of BALI’s new membership website is firmly underway, with a launch scheduled for late January 2019. A staged version will be released so select members can try out the new features and feedback to BALI. The website is being built by datadriven website specialists NetXtra. If any registered BALI member would like to participate in the staged test, they can contact BALI’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Darren Taylor

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RHS report WoodFest, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, 2–4 November Kick off the autumn season with a weekend of woodcrafts. Hyde Hall plays host to a range of captivating demonstrations including horse logging, chainsaw carving, willow weaving and furniture making. There are plenty of chances to get involved, with drop-in craft workshops for both adults and children. The event is kindly sponsored by STIHL, who will be educating children

Australian Garden Hyde Hall ©RHS/Tim Sandall

about trees at the STIHL’s Lumber Jack tree trail. STIHL experts will be on hand providing product demonstrations and local craftsmen will be selling some of their handcrafted items. An Afternoon with Adam Frost, RHS Garden Rosemoor, 9 November The Gardeners’ World presenter goes back to his Devon roots with an afternoon at Rosemoor. Join him as he talks about his life in horticulture.

‘Glow’ Winter Illuminations at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, 22 November–29 December View Harlow Carr in a different light this winter as special lighting effects bring a touch of magic to the most northerly RHS garden. You’ll experience the garden like never before with an illuminated trail that winds round the lake, Winter Walk, Streamside, and Doric columns. Visitors can delight in the ‘glow’ of the illuminations three evenings a week (ThursdaySaturday) from 4:30-8:30pm.

Glow ©RHS/Luke MacGregor

RHS Garden Rosemoor ©RHS/Jason Ingram

Christmas Craft Fair, RHS Garden Wisley, 21–25 November Get crafty with your Christmas shopping at Wisley’s popular craft fair. Browse and buy from some of the finest craft makers in the country amongst the beautiful winter scenery in the garden. With both traditional and contemporary crafts available, it’s the place to go for your Christmas needs!

plants@work outline

An 18ft tree by Enterprise Plants


Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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I guess it’s okay to mention the C word now. Well, it certainly is for our members as we are now in one of their busiest condensed periods of the year. Christmas installations will take up much of November and maybe even the beginning of December alongside all their regular maintenance work for existing installations. Most members offer a Christmas decoration service for their clients in offices, hotels, restaurants and other leisure establishments. They’re a creative lot too, installation from full Christmas scenes to smaller table-top decorations. If a business wants a 20ft

Giant wreaths by Indoor Garden Design

tree or a whole forest of trees, they will oblige. Or maybe a garland of baubles is required or a full Christmas scene with woodland animals – their creativity knows no bounds, they’ll be able to oblige. And guess what, when the celebrations are over, they’ll come in and break it down for you, and once again

Snow scene terrariums by Plant Designs

Christmas will be packed away for another year. Talk about taking the hassle out of Christmas.

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APL update APL members build exclusive partnership with Home Solutions from John Lewis APL recently announced their partnership as the landscaping accrediting body for Home Solutions from John Lewis. This exclusive partnership will enable members the chance to design, build and maintain gardens for John Lewis customers. Home Solutions began as a trial in the Milton Keynes area in 2017 and has since expanded in Bristol, Bath and Greater London. The

APL are now helping to recruit new members to the service. Home Solutions reached out to The Association of Professional Landscapers to help find quality, experienced landscaping companies that have been accredited and receive ongoing inspections through the APL and Trustmark inspection process. This partnership is

exclusively for APL members, so if you are interested in applying for this or looking into membership of APL, contact Phil Tremayne at or visit homessolutions. for more information.

Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (Ireland) • Reece McKay - College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (Ireland) • Connor Pegler - Warwickshire College (Pershore) • Matthew Wood - Myerscough College

APL WorldSkills UK Final! Don’t forget the final of APL WorldSkills UK takes place on 15-17 November at the NEC Birmingham. The six finalists who have readied the final are: • Douglas Beck - Wiltshire College - Lackham • Sam Gordon - The Gardenmakers Ltd • Brian Hughes - College of

Register for free to come along and support the finalists at The APL would like to thank sponsors Ecodek, Makita, Marshalls, J A Jones and Landscapeplus for their support of the APL WorldSkills UK Landscaping competition.


20 NOVEMBER 2018


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After four months and a myriad of entries from across the uk, the inaugural arbordexperts trex installer awards has now drawn to a close. The judges challenged the UK’s Trex installers to showcase their best work – large and small, residential and commercial, and clever designs – and the response has been phenomenal, with lot of high-quality entries flooding in.

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The competition’s judges, Arbor Forest Products’ Sarah Francis, Halcyon Days’ Andy Tudbury, Trex market manager Alan Hodkinson and Pro Landscaper Magazine’s Jim Wilkinson, are now gathering all the entries together to the select category winners and ultimately crown the ‘Best of Trex’ decking installation in the UK. Sarah Francis said: “This summer has been ideal decking weather and plenty of installers have used

the time to create some truly impressive Trex decks. I’ve been very impressed by the standard of entry so I’m sure that choosing an overall winner will be a challenge in itself.” All category winners will be automatically entered into the ‘Best of Trex’ award with the chance to win a four-day trip for two to the US capital, Washington DC, where the winner will visit Trex University and have a behind the scenes tour of where it’s all made.

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The overall winner will be announced at Futurescape, the UK’s number one landscaping trade event, held at the Sandown Park Racecourse, Surrey, on 20th November 2018. The category winners will receive £250 of high street vouchers, as well as having their work professionally photographed and getting a full marketing support package to promote their winning project. Sarah continued: “I’m looking forward to revealing the winner

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at Futurescape and I’m sure the lucky designer will make the most of their trip to the States. Also all category winners will have their decks professionally photographed and promoted via the Arbordeck website and Pro Landscaper magazine, which will provide a big boost to their businesses ahead of the decking season next year. “I’m sure the winning entries will be inspirational for other decking installers: the versatility and aesthetics of Trex make the material

ideally suited to creative and eyecatching designs, and thanks to our Arbordexperts entrants, decking installers – as well as homeowners and business managers – can see what’s possible with a skilled installer on board.” For more information on the Arbordexperts Installer Awards, visit For more updates follow Arbordeck on Twitter @_arbordeck; on Pinterest; and on Facebook.

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Pro Landscaper Connect, the new data and research division of the Pro Landscaper brand, held a round table event with MEDITE SMARTPLY at London’s Business Design Centre in September. The company manufactures the innovative product MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME, also known as MTX, a durable MDF. Historically used in indoor projects, MEDITE has now created a water-resistant MDF which opens up a wide range of possibilities for use in the landscape sector. A range of cross-industry professionals came together to discuss how this product can be used in outdoor projects.

IAN DRUMMOND Director, Indoor Garden Design (interior landscaping) ALEXANDRA NOBLE Garden designer (garden design) PAUL NEWMAN Owner, Paul Newman Landscapes (design & build) KARL HARRISON Technical director, Exterior Solutions Ltd (manufacturer) ED BURNHAM Owner, Burnham Landscaping (landscape construction) ALISTAIR BAYFORD Operations director, London and South East idverde (landscaping & grounds maintenance) MARTHA KREMPEL Garden designer (garden design) GEOFF GARDINER Manor Landscapes (domestic design, build & commercial maintenance)


Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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verybody knows how versatile MDF is when used in indoor construction projects. Now a whole new world has opened up to those needing a similar performing material that can be used in an outdoor setting. MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME (MTX) could be the answer to those difficult to resolve material choice problems. Regarded as a possible substitute for concrete, steel or plastics in a variety of settings, this product has the added benefit of being lightweight, with a guarantee of up to 50 years above ground and 25 years in ground. Thus, providing landscape architects, specifiers and garden designers with an entirely new construction material, allowing great design flexibility and endless opportunities for creativity. This product is manufactured from a proprietary acetylated wood fibre using sustainably sourced FSC® timber and is made using a high-performance resin which has zero added formaldehyde in its formulation, ensuring the product is suitable for environmentally sensitive areas. See for yourself on the MEDITE SMARTPLY YouTube channel.

25/50-year guarantee BRE coordinated this testing back in 2009 when it asked SP Wood Technology in Sweden to carry out accelerated weathering tests. One of these tests was the freeze/thaw/wet/dry cycle, where the board was submerged in water at 20°C for two or three hours, then frozen at -20°C for two to three hours, followed by storage at 5°C in water for 18 hours and finally 60°C in water for six hours. This process was carried out 25 times with little change to the samples tested. This gave MEDITE SMARTPLY the confidence to offer MTX the performance guarantee of 50 years above ground. The BRE also indicated that MTX achieves durability class 1 under EN350-2 – the equivalent to plantation teak and more durable than aged oak. SP Wood Technology, part of Research Industries of Sweden, tested the product’s ability to resist wood destroying basidiomycetes (white and brown rot) which delivered a fantastic result, enabling MEDITE SMARTPLY to guarantee the product for 25 years in-ground in addition to its impressive above ground feat.

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Glue The recommended glue type for bonding is D4, which is deemed to be suitable for use in areas of high moisture and/or fully exposed. The glue types that can be used are PU, PIR, PRF, Epoxy and EPI. Due to the dry nature of MTX, curing times may be slightly extended. Fixings Due to small traces of residual acetic acid used in the modification process, MTX should only be mechanically fixed using stainless steel A1 or A4 screws, nails or pins. Size/thicknesses available Supplied in standard 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18mm thicknesses in 1220x2440/3050 sizes. If a thicker specification is required a good fabricator will generally bond together two panels and machine it together. Other widths and lengths can be supplied. The 6mm and 9mm panels can be curved. The product is sanded to 120g, but can be further finished if required. If you are putting a bond to it, the suggestion is to take it down to 80g to give a key to bond to.

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With all the different finishes that can be applied to the product, the lifespan is unaffected due to the core substrate being unaltered. What it is coated with doesn’t affect the core. The coatings all come with their own warranties. Health & safety It is well documented that one of the reported concerns with MDF is the perception of carcinogens related to wood dust and formaldehyde that can be released while cutting. So, we ask what’s different with this product? MEDITE is an innovative company; it’s responsible for many industry firsts, such as being the first company to manufacture a zero-added formaldehyde MDF for exterior use. It reports that all products are manufactured to achieve CARB 2 compliance – one of the world’s most stringent environmental tests – giving it the lowest emission and measurement of any extractable formaldehyde in any wood based MDF in Europe. Of course, it is still strongly recommended that anyone working with an MDF product, or any other dust producing material, follows HSE guidelines and uses

protective measures with suitable extraction and the wearing of facemasks. Pricing Cost and comparison with the type of product you would usually use in any given situation was also discussed. The comparison shouldn’t be made against similar looking products, such as traditional MDF or plywood, but rather products that share its qualities. An example of this is Garden Designer Tom Hill’s On Point show garden at this year’s Ascot Spring Garden Show. It featured two freestanding geometric columns that created the sense of entrance and arrival at the garden. Tom could have fashioned these out of steel (at a significantly higher cost), but he was able to manipulate the product in the workshop, putting together normal

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joinery techniques using the right glue and adhesives to put it all together and finally employing a paint company to give it that ‘real metal’ finish. Strength It should be recognised that this is not designed as a structural board. For this you would generally use plywood or OSB, which MEDITE SMARTPLY also manufacturers under its SMARTPLY brand. However, it can be used in conjunction with other materials, and it has been seen to be used for structures in gardens, i.e. it has been used as a base for laying porcelain tiles, backboards for chairs, benches, and bars and it has even been used to build base units for an outdoor kitchen.

POSSIBLE USES IN LANDSCAPING • Construction of storage bins and areas • Planters • Cladding panels • Rendered structures (e.g. in show gardens) • Edging • Burnt effect wall panels • Fencing and screening • Outdoor entertainment (e.g. bar tops/kitchens) • Construction of garden rooms • Soffits and fascias • Privacy/safety hoarding in construction projects (reusable saving on slippage costs)


Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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Q: Will the product fade? In terms of fading the product should be treated like any other wood product. If it’s not covered or stained, it will eventually become sun-bleached and fade to grey. Q: Can it be sanded down and repainted? Yes, that’s the beauty of it. If you had a metal powder-coated planter that gets chipped it’s t to fix, whereas if you get a knock on this it’s very easy to just rub down slightly and repaint. Paints will not crack and split as with wood, so it is easier to re-paint. Q: Could it be used for tanking, a small water feature for example, providing the right sealants and joins are used? If you visit Futurescape in November, MEDITE SMARTPLY will be showing a demonstration of their products. Part of this demo will be a plinth supporting a water filled sink made of MTX which has 45-degree angles on the corners, all bonded correctly, demonstrating the possibilities of this truly unique board.

IF YOU VISIT FUTURESCAPE IN NOVEMBER, MEDITE SMARTPLY WILL BE SHOWING A DEMONSTRATION OF THEIR PRODUCTS Q: Where can we get this product? There is a list of distributors on the MEDITE SMARTPLY website stockists. Here you will be able to find the most convenient distributor for you from our list of national stockists. Q: Why should designers specify, or landscapers use the product? Flexibility. It’s user friendly, efficient and easy for tradesmen to work with. It’s got the benefit of being easy to cut, machine, rout, sand and

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paint or stain. It’s readily available and comes in large format sizes, so you can make big panels, or cover large areas. The long lifespan of the product, 25 to 50 years, is an amazing added benefit. You can be sure that you aren’t going to get call backs on this product if it’s installed correctly. Q: What about the performance of acoustics with this product? Could it be used to block out traffic noise? It’s a great idea that has definite possibilities. Q: If it is used as flooring, or something that’s going to get extra wear – say arm rest height – does it have the same properties as MDF, will it wear quickly? Whilst a coating is going to increase the wear of the products and protect them, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend using it for really heavy wear, such as somewhere it’s going to be repeatedly knocked or worn excessively. It hasn’t been created for that. Q: What about fire resistance? It complies with the standard performance of all wood-based products, in class D. There are coatings that can be applied to it to increase fire resistance if you need it to give a higher performance. Q: What about if you built an outside BBQ with it? This has actually been done. It was a gas BBQ with the cylinder set underneath. The carcass was built and faced with MTX, with a granite top and stainless steel around it. Q: What is the longest period of time currently that the product has been used outdoors? The product was launched at the end of 2011, with the first job completed in 2012.

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IT’S GOT THE BENEFIT OF BEING EASY TO CUT, MACHINE, ROUT, SAND AND PAINT OR STAIN Q: Is there anywhere where the product hasn’t worked? Someone built an entire bench out of it – the structure, seat and side arms. It’s all about general wear and tear of the user and if it’s used in the wrong way we wouldn’t recommend it. In this case it was down to bad design, unfortunately. We are pragmatic enough as a board manufacturer to sometimes recommend solid acetylated timber for some particular applications, or a combination of both. Additionally, it’s also to do with the coating. We recommend acrylic paint because it’s an environmentally sustainable finish, but a solvent-based paint is more hardwearing, becasuse it cures harder. It’s about getting the right product in the right finish. Q: How aware are your distributors of your products and how they can be used? What help can they give landscape designers? We do regular training with distributors to make sure they are up to speed and we provide them with as much technical information as possible. But if you do have a question and can’t get an answer from a local distributor, you can always email us at Q: What about lead times? Distributors should have readily available stock. You can see MEDITE SMARTPLY at Futurescape, on stand B1, on Tuesday 20 November where they will have a range of examples and finishes on show, and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the range of products.

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Pro Landscaper’s small project, BIG IMPACT Awards Ceremony


30 under 30: The Next Generation Winners Presentation


2018 19:15




The Next Generation


Also chaired by Jamie Butterworth, this panel features young designers, who have already achieved great things in their careers. These are the designers that will no doubt dictate RHS Chelsea for years to come. Sitting on the panel will be Will Williams (who won RHS Young Designer of the Year), Lilly Gomm, Tony Woods, and Hay Hwang. They’ll be talking about all things design, what they’re currently up to and filling us in on their future plans.


A new addition to FutureScape this year, we’ve pulled together a panel of Landscape Legends. These are the four names that come up whenever we talk to people about who they follow or who they’re inspired by, so come along and learn from the legends themselves. The panel consists of Mark Gregory (who has more Chelsea Gold medals as a builder and designer than anyone else), Ann-Marie Powell (a well-known personality who works very closely with the RHS), David Dodd (a veteran of Chelsea who runs a very successful business in Sussex) and Jo Thompson (a highly creative designer and another big player at RHS shows).

Jamie Butterworth (Chair) • Tim Edwards, Boningale Nurseries • Nicola Spence, Animal Plant Health Agency • Richard McKenna, Provender Nurseries • Robin Wallis, Hortus Loci




Design - It all starts with a design Jamie Butterworth (Chair) • Will Williams, Will Williams Design • Lilly Gomm, Lilly Gomm Studio •

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Let’s Hear It From - The Landscape Legends

Jim Wilkinson - Chair • Mark Gregory, Landform Consultants • Ann-Marie Powell, Ann-Marie Powell Gardens • David Dodd, The Outdoor Room • Jo Thompson, Jo Thompson Garden Design

Plant disease affects us all…

Plant disease affects every part of the landscaping sector. This year we’ve pulled together a fantastic panel who know about all the different issues – what’s bad, what diseases are in the UK, how they affect the nursery world, and how this affects designers and landscapers when choosing plants. Pro Landscaper contributor Jamie Butterworth will chair the panel, which includes Professor Nicola Spence (the UK’s leading expert on plant disease), Tim Edwards (of Boningale Nurseries and who sits on multiple committees about the effects of plant disease on nurseries), Richard McKenna (Provender Nurseries) and Robin Wallis (Hortus Loci).

The Pro Landscaper Summit reception drinks & evening dinner

Tony Wood, Garden Club London • Hay Hwang, Hay Designs

Jim Wilkinson (Chair) • Ross Conquest, Conquest Creative Spaces • Jake Catling, The Landscape Consultants • Craig Nester, Habitat Landscapes • Ed Burnham, Burnham Landscaping

Come and listen to four budding landscapers talk about how they are progressing, growing, and working towards their goals of becoming the next generation of RHS Chelsea builders. All of them have had a fantastic year – most of them have built show gardens and are gaining great reputations. Chaired by Jim Wilkinson, this seminar is a must-attend for anyone who is interested in seeing who the next generation is. The panel will include Ross Conquest (Conquest Creative Spaces), Jake Catling (The Landscape Consultants), Craig Nester (Habitat Landscapes), and Ed Burnham (Burnham Landscaping).

The Pro Landscaper Summit Debate: Cosmic changes in the UK landscaping sector


One to One: Live on stage interview with Cleve West Visit The Pro Landscaper Theatre at 4:00pm, where horticulturist Jamie Butterworth takes to the stage to quiz and question renowned garden designer Cleve West. This is an opportunity for us to dig in deep and understand the real highs and lows of running a successful garden design business. This session will provide an insightful look into the background of a key industry player. We hope you leave inspired by this interview.

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Room 2

Room 3

Business Growth

Landscape & Aftercare



Welcome The digital world, hype or a valuable tool?


Jamie Wilkinson (Chair) • Ben Shaw, Adtrak • Adam White, Davies White • Laura Welborn-Baker, University of York • Paula Parker, PP8 Marketing Learn how you can make digital marketing work for your business and understand the value of social media in the business environment. Hosted by Jamie Wilkinson (director of Eljays44), the panel features Ben Shaw from Adtrak (one of the leading digital companies in the UK), Adam White, Laura Welborn-Baker from the University of York, and PR expert Paula Parker.

Business consultancy, is it worth it?

Paul Downer, Oak View Landscapes • Nick Ruddle


Paul Downer, managing director of Oak View Landscapes and Nick Ruddle of Action Coach Business Coaching have been working together for over five years on a growth and development strategy for Oak View Landscapes. The process allows business owners to focus “ON” the business rather than working “IN” it. Learn how you can free up more time, creating a business that can operate successfully without you whilst creating the right company culture, building a market leading team and delivering great financial results.

12.00 Liam Colclough, Horticulture Careers

Liam Colclough is joined by a panel of talent acquisition specialists to discuss tactics throughout the recruitment processes, from producing clear and concise job specs, to knowing what to look out for during the interview stages. The current industry skills shortage will also be examined, as we look at ways in which we can ensure that talented and dedicated individuals will continue to be attracted into the landscaping sector.

Closing… it’s no bad thing


Laura Hathaway-Jenkins , Tim O’Hare Associates Laura will discuss and clarify some of the more common soil issues and misunderstandings that arise on projects. This will include the main functions of both topsoil and subsoil, the right soils for species-rich grasslands, the impacts of soil compaction to the landscape and the environment, explaining the significance of soil pH and explaining the finer points of the British Standard for topsoil.

Aftercare management, overlooked or business opportunity

Jim Wilkinson (Chair) • Angela Palmerton, Lady Penelope Gardens • Tom Bream, Great Martins Estate • Sarah Morgan, Sarah Morgan Garden Design • Charles Blumlein, Location Landscapes Aftercare is the new buzzword for maintenance. Lots of companies build fantastic gardens, but sometimes forget about the aftercare. This panel of experts will look at aftercare as a business opportunity and discuss the importance aftercare plays in the overall design and build implementation.

Increasing the value of your design: lighting

Luke Thomas, John Cullen Lighting Luke Thomas, design director of John Cullen Lighting will show you how to enhance your designs to create a magical space. Discover clever tricks to enhance the value of the garden and create another dimension at night. Luke will take you on a tour of recent projects showing how lighting enhances planting, trees and seating areas as well as hard landscaping and sculptures. He will also examine the latest LED tools required to achieve the stunning effects for your designs.

Increasing the value of your design: finishing touches Patricia Fox, Aralia

What is it that transforms a garden from average to special? Why does one garden feel so much more finished than another? How is it that some gardens just feel so wonderful? Aralia’s talk will highlight how to integrate those all important finishing touches into your garden designs, and will cover a wide range of examples, including boundaries, paths and edging, pergolas and arches, planters, furniture and accessories and seasonal planting.

Lunch Time Recruitment - the good, the bad and the very ugly


10 reasons why soil is important

Jamie Wilkinson (Chair) • Richard Gill, Green-tech • Lee Bestall • Debs Winrow, Garden House Design • Clare Morgan, Global Stone Whatever industry you work in, sales is really important. Of course, the most important part of selling is closing. This panel of experts will give you an insight into how they close and how to maximise opportunities of getting a yes.


Karl Harrison, Exterior Solutions Decking expert Karl Harrison of Exterior Solutions explains the difference between softwood, hardwood, composite and shou sugi ban as decking materials. Karl’s expertise will be on show in room 2 at 2pm, and will likely help you with the choice for your next client’s garden.

Your costs, the projects costs and managing client expectations Sam Hassall, LandPro/LibeRATE

The talk will address the common stumbling blocks encountered between that initial phone call from the prospective client and your final invoice. Understanding the term ‘managing your clients expectations’ addresses everything from the design programme, the build feasibility the build programme and especially the cost. Managing these expectations will smooth the way to ensuring the satisfaction of your client.

Show gardens are the X Factor of the landscape industry, high stakes and high expectations Edward Mairis, Mairis Landscapes

This seminar is for designers, contractors and suppliers to get the best from the growing phenomena of flower shows as a promotion tool for your business. We will break the myths about winning at flower shows, learn how to get the best from PR and business opportunities, get the hard costs, and decide if a show garden is right for you.

Soft landscaping: plants

Jamie Butterworth (Chair) • Humaira Ikram, Redscape Design • Rossana Porta • Guy Watt, Architectural Plants For this seminar we’ve got a fantastic panel, hosted by Jamie Butterworth, that includes a mixture of fantastic soft plant experts. Come hear them talk about opportunities and the value of getting your soft landscaping right. They’ll also give us some fantastic examples of where soft planting really helps in the overall theme of the garden.

Growth, but at what speed?

Jamie Wilkinson (Chair) • Ken White, Frosts Landscapes • Barry Randall, Leicestershire Garden Design • Holly Youde, Urban Landscapes


This seminar is all about the speed of growth in your business – how to grow, whether you want to, understanding how to focus your business to achieve your growth goals and what to do when it goes wrong. The panel, with Ken White of Frosts Landscapes (which has gone through massive change this year), Barry Randall of Leicestershire Garden Design (which has rapidly expanded over the last few years), and Holly Youde, owner of an entrepreneurial landscape business.

To register for your free ticket please visit or call 01903 777 570 Futurescape seminar programme.indd 73

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£176 P E R M O N T H


NEW FORD TRANSIT COURIER LIMITED 1.0 ECOBOOST 100PS. FROM £176 PER MONTH OVER 4 YEARS ON FORD CONTRACT HIRE FROM FORD LEASE. ADVANCE OF 6 MONTHLY RENTALS. BUSINESS USERS ONLY. TO FIND OUT MORE, VISIT FORD.CO.UK Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the New Ford Transit Courier Limited 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS shown: Urban 39.2 (6.6), Extra Urban 56.5 (4.8), Combined 48.7 (5.5). Official CO2 emissions 131g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Regulations (EC) 715/2007 and (EC) 692/2008 as last amended), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. Finance subject to status. Guarantees/indemnities may be required. You will not own the vehicle at the end of the agreement. Examples exclude VAT and are based on 48 month non-maintained agreements, with a mileage of 10,000 miles per annum. Vehicles must be returned in good condition and within agreed mileage, otherwise further charges will be incurred. Prices correct at time of going to print and are subject to change without notice. Subject to availability at a Ford Authorised UK Dealer for vehicles with finance accepted and vehicle contracted between 1st October and 31st December 2018 and vehicle registered between 1st October 2018 and 30th June 2019. Not available with any other promotion. Ford Lease is provided by ALD Automotive Ltd, trading as Ford Lease, BS16 7LB.

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30 UNDER 30

noticeboard 30 UNDER 30 SPEAKERS AT FUTURESCAPE Ross Conquest Build – The Next Generation Jake Catling Build – The Next Generation Jamie Butterworth Plants – Plant disease affects us all, Design, It all starts with design, One to One – All you need to know, with Clive West, Plants – Soft Landscaping and The Pro Landscaper Summit Lilly Gomm Design – It all starts with design Tom Bream Maintenance – Aftercare management, overlooked or business opportunity?

JAMIE BUTTERWORTH Horticultural consultant at London Stone From 21–23 of September 2018, Jamie joined a team of explorers from London Stone in climbing Gran Paradiso; Italy’s highest peak, in a bid to raise funds for one of London Stone’s chosen charities; Team Felix, who raise money to help end Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The team flew to Geneva, Switzerland, before driving to Pont, in Italy, where they hiked for approximately four hours to Aosta, before the really challenging part of the ascent began. A 4.30 am start on the Saturday began an incredibly intense climb to over 4000m, including the crossing of a glacier. The final ascent to the summit was very steep and on an exposed ridge, so the team were roped-up and scrambling on all fours in smaller groups for safety reasons. Jamie said of the climb, ‘It was the most difficult and challenging and amazing experience I have ever taken part in.’ So far the climb has raised over £11,800 for Duchenne UK.

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ALEXANDRA NOBLE Garden and landscape designer at Alexandra Noble Design Alexandra was appointed to design a shared garden for newly converted flats in Ealing, West London last December. Alexandra’s scope also included design of the front drive, an internal lightwell, a small roof terrace and private garden. The shared garden is designed as a social space with a large planted seating area and stepping slabs for group yoga sessions on the lawn. The client’s love of olive trees led to beds of young Olea europaea underplanted with species such as Lavandula, Artemisia and Gaura sited on both sides of the lawn. Another stipulation of the client’s brief was that the garden should include a lap pool. Alexandra’s design incorporates turquoise mosaic tiles internally along with a bullnose York stone coping. The project is now nearing completion with Alexandra currently dividing her time between freelance work as well as new private projects across London and further afield.

TAMARA BRIDGE Garden designer at Tamara Bridge Garden Designs Tamara has now been running Tamara Bridge Garden Designs for five years and has spent the last year focusing on design rather than a combination of gardening and design. She has spent the summer refocusing where she wants to go with the business and what she would like to achieve, entering one of her early commissions into the SGD awards for planting design was part of the refocus. Tamara says: “being chosen as a finalist for the awards will certainly be one of the highlights of my business achievements so far, I am so excited to be part of it all and see my work sitting next to amazing designers that I look up to, it feels a bit surreal.”

Pro Landscaper / November 2018 29

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Let’s Hear it From


LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATES This month we talk to landscaper Richard Curle and discover what drives his thriving business as well as his own personal development in a challenging industry

What interested you about the landscape industry as a career? I was really lucky with my journey into the landscape industry. When I left school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I started working with a local gardener and I was hooked after the first day – it was tough, arduous work, and although the days were long I loved everything about it. Working outside appealed to me. I enjoyed the physical challenge and liked the practical aspect. I also remember being in awe of the plant knowledge everyone had. It was fascinating to me, like a foreign language. After a few weeks the company owner asked me if I’d like to start an apprenticeship and that was the start of my career.

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Tell us a bit about your business – when and how it started and the current team structure? After completing my apprenticeship and gaining experience working for garden maintenance companies, I enrolled at Writtle College where I completed a Higher National Diploma in Horticulture. Whilst on a placement year at a landscape construction company, my career direction changed, and this was the catalyst for creating Landscape Associates after I had competed my studies. When I started it consisted of me, a Skoda pick-up truck and a shed on the side of my mum’s house in Brentford. Today Landscape Associates has 24 employees. I run the company as managing director and Oliver

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Barlow (director) oversees the maintenance side and creative direction of the business. Oliver has also been instrumental in implementing new company-wide systems and policies. Our maintenance manager, Yuri Buckeridge, takes care of the day to day running of the contracts. He has three team leaders Adrian, Megan and Scott overseeing five skilled operatives. Richie Pease, our contracts manager works with me running the projects. We have three foremen Mike, Maciej and Phil that Richie oversees. He deals with programmes and budgets, liaising with clients and designers. We have an office manager and an office assistant who take care of the day to day running of the business.

ONE OF THE POSITIVE ASPECTS ABOUT THIS INDUSTRY IS THAT SO MANY PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES AND HELP OTHERS OUT What type of training and development strategy does your business have? We are very pro-active when it comes to training and development at Landscape Associates. We like to support individuals in whatever industry related training they feel would benefit them. Currently as a company we are working towards all our key staff training to a minimum of RHS Level 2, including the construction teams. It is important for us to remember what gardens


Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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are about even through the construction phase. Three members have undertaken apprenticeship schemes, one of them, Callum Gilfillian, went on to win the 30 under 30 award for his involvement in building a gold medal winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden. You completed the RHS Master of Horticulture qualification, what made you want you to continue your studies and is this something you encourage your team to do? I started the RHS Master of Horticulture for my own personal development, this is something

that I’m passionate about. At the time I felt that I wanted to push myself and improve my knowledge. It isn’t lost on me that someone who couldn’t wait to leave school and wasn’t interested in further education decided to study for RHS Master of Horticulture. It highlights perfectly what can be achieved when someone finds a subject/career that they are passionate about. This is why as a company we like to support our team to be the best they can whatever that might be. You’re a member of APL, what do you think the benefits are of being part of an industry association? We are members of both the APL and BALI. We feel there is a huge value in being part of industry associations, what with the wealth of knowledge within the membership of these organisations. They provide good opportunities to meet, network and tap into that knowledge. One of the positive aspects about this industry is that so many people are willing to share their experiences and help others out. We also feel that membership of trade associations provides clients and designers with confidence in contractors, knowing that they have been vetted and have assured standards.

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Congratulations on winning a BALI award this year in the Domestic Garden Construction cost over £250K category. How do you think entering and winning awards enhances your business? Entering industry awards enhances our business because it allows us to show potential clients and designers what we’re capable of. This project means a lot to us as it is within the highest category in terms of budget for domestic gardens. We are thrilled to have been shortlisted and fingers crossed for the Principle Award! You get involved with building show gardens at RHS Shows, how do you feel your business benefits from this? Like most contractors we love a challenge and they don’t come much bigger than a main avenue garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Designers will push the boundaries of their creativity, meaning our team has to think out of the box and pull together to meet the tight deadline. We find this builds a stronger team ethic. What advice would you offer for building a business in the landscape industry? I would recommend making the most of networking opportunities and speaking to other companies, specialists and consultants within our

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industry. It can be very easy to become set in your ways and running a company can be lonely. It’s always positive to seek advice and share ideas with like-minded people. What do you think will be the major challenges for the industry moving forward and how can we tackle them? A challenge we face year on year is finding the right staff for the vacancies that we are advertising. This is predominately caused by the skills shortage within the industry and I’m sure that we will face it for a decade or so to come. Our industry is actively trying to tackle this problem, however it will take a while to filter through and for companies like us to start noticing a change. I personally feel it’s a real shame that colleges no longer put students on placements – this was invaluable to my development. When you’re not working, what do you like to do to relax? I have two young girls, Gracie and Madeline, aged five and three. Spending time with them is the best way to unwind from a busy day. We could be doing anything cooking, swimming, playing at the local park or just mucking around at home, it’s always precious. I also have a chocolate Labrador who often sleeps under my desk in the

office. Chobham Common is local to our offices so walking the dog is always a good excuse to get out of the office and I find walking a good way to not only relax but also work through problems. Also, whenever I get the chance I like riding up and down big hills on my mountain bike. 1 T om Massey’s Lemon Tree Trust Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 ©Britt Willoughby Dyer 2 B ALI award winner 2018 by Harris Bugg Studio ©Landscape Associates 3 L ondon Garden designed by Gavin McWilliam ©Gavin McWilliam 4 R oyal Bank of Canada at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014 by Hugo Bugg ©Simon Nobes 5 London Garden designed by Luciano Giubbilei ©Steven Wooster. 6 A PL winner 2018 by Oliver Barlow ©Landscape Associates 7 L ondon Garden by del Buono Gazerwitz ©Emma Durnford

CONTACT Landscape Associates Limited Holloway Hill, Lyne, Chertsey KT16 0AE Tel: 020 8943 9461 Email:

Pro Landscaper / November 2018 33

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Pro Landscaper talks to Nigel Bowcock of Acre Landscapes, a company that takes pride in its long history, meaningful projects, and encouraging the young generation of landscapers

How was Acre Landscapes established? Back in 2008, four of us worked for an industry-leading company in Milton Keynes. I’d worked there for 19 years, but after delivering a big project at Heathrow Terminal Five, I decided I didn’t really want to move back to Milton Keynes and I didn’t see my career progressing within the company. So, I decided to start my own company – Acre Landscapes. In March 2008, we bought a very small maintenance company based in Hampshire, and that’s what we started doing. In the month we started, the banks crashed, everyone was being put out of work and losing their contracts, but somehow, we managed to ride it through and come out the other side. It’s been a long game, but we’re proud of how far we’ve come.


in numbers

Established March 2008 Employees 18 Breakdown 35% maintenance, 65% construction Awards 3 APL (all in 2013), BALI Principal Award 2016, Pro Landscaper Business Award 2017, BALI National Award 2018 Turnover £1.5 million

Nigel Bowcock

How has Acre Landscapes developed over time? We started off solely as a maintenance company, doing maintenance for various projects across the south of England. Then a few people from the past got in contact about doing some landscape work, which we began to do as and when projects came along. After about two years I decided I wanted to get back into the madness that we call landscape construction, and so started seeking work from various sources. One job led to another, contacts were made, and the whole thing slowly snowballed. When Nick Perrin joined us in quantity surveying a few years ago, he brought with him great experience and good contacts which took our turnover into the next threshold. We’ve gone from a turnover of around £750,000-£1m over the past four to five years to a minimum of £1.5m this year. It’s important to us that we’re self-funded – we want to always pay our suppliers and employees on time. We always price things properly, we don’t go in cheap just to get a job to then cut corners later. We don’t want to devalue our industry. How do you create a positive work environment? We have an employee of the month scheme and have afternoons where the whole company shuts down and all the staff have a barbecue. We operate a profit share scheme where 10% of our net profit is shared equally amongst people that have worked here for over two years. We try and succeed in harbouring this teamwork environment so that we’re all in it together with one end goal – to deliver the best projects safely on time.


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You have won a BALI International Award in 2018. Can you tell us about the project that won you the award? We were employed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to plant some yew trees to commemorate Australian soldiers who lost their lives during World War One in France. Effectively, an Englishman and a Polishman from our company went over to France to plant German trees to commemorate the lost lives of Australians, so it was a very international project! We planted 40 three-to-four tonne yew trees over a few weeks. We like to think that we’re proud of absolutely every job that we do, all for different reasons. This one really stands out because it was so unique and meaningful. What’s next for Acre Landscapes? One of our employees, Stuart Dunn, is taking on a training role. He’s going to be teaching others about landscaping from a knowledgeable and experienced point of view. He’s going to keep all our employees up-to-date with the latest

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legislations and train any new employees to get them ready for work. Also, as part of the BALI Go Landscape initiative, he’ll be going into prisons and young offender institutions to train people who are ready to leave to get them prepared for work. Getting young people involved in landscaping is important, both to us as a business, and to me personally. We have one person already employed full-time just working on the BALI Go Landscape initiative, and we’re also taking on two apprentices. I spent all my school years, even my years at university, staring out of the window. Even my school reports said: “he’d be okay if he didn’t keep staring out of the window”. I was just fascinated with the outside world and now I couldn’t do anything but work outside. Some people are just made that way, and they need to know that landscaping is a valid and rewarding career option.

1 Pro Landscaper Business Awards winner in 2018 2 Acre with the CWGC Team 3 Hove Lagoon clean-up 4 Cutty Sark garden 5 Acre’s office has its own hives which produce honey 6 The CWGC project in France 7 Management team working lunch

CONTACT Acre Landscapes, The Gate House, Basin Road South, Southwick, West Sussex BN41 1WF Tel: 01273 722696 Fax: 01273 617013 Twitter: @acrelandscapes Email: Web:

Pro Landscaper / November 2018 35

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Charter Square, Staines ©London Square


One Tower Bridge ©Maylim



Director and founder of D4P Ani Mokashi talks about the company’s close-knit working relationship between their architects and landscape architects as well as some recent interesting projects. Ani founded D4P with business partner Mark Armstrong in 2013, building a practice focusing on both architecture and landscape architecture. The inspiration behind the name came from their main philosophy of designing for people, places and properties with passion – the four most important ‘P’s in the industry according to D4P. All their designs are made primarily with the end user in mind. FINDING A BALANCE D4P employs two landscape architects and two architects as part of the core team and uses freelancers as and when they are needed. There is an emphasis on the need to understand one another’s professions and to work closely 36

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together. When a project comes in, the whole team works on it, irrespective of whether it is an architectural project or a landscape-based one. “We don’t separate landscape and architecture,” says Ani. “That is one of our core values.” Ani tells clients that even if they don’t want to bring D4P into a project immediately or from the start, they ought to keep them updated regardless. That way, if

WE DON’T SEPARATE LANDSCAPE AND ARCHITECTURE. THAT IS ONE OF OUR CORE VALUES something isn’t going to work with the landscape, Ani and his team can provide them with an early warning. To them it makes sense rather than leaving it until the very end and

finding out that what they wanted doesn’t work – it’s D4P’s way of an early warning system. Ani himself first studied for a degree in architecture. Though he loved designing buildings, one of his key passions was thinking about how the building is viewed by the public. That for him included the setting it is in – whether it was in a comfortable environment, if it was easy to get to and whether it worked in the context of the local landscape and character. STAND-OUT PROJECTS D4P are currently working on a mass development housing project in Staines of around 350 apartments. What makes the project so interesting is that it sits in a flood zone 3a category. When the client bought the site, they had discussions with the local

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Hampden Road ©The Visualiser LTD

Rathbone Square ©Maylim

Vista ©Maylim

St. Helen’s Square, London ©Maylim

authority, and through that the Environment Agency became involved to talk about flood prevention and the water levels. It was decided that the project should be designed to flood rather than to keep water out. The key challenge that comes with this is that the site is designed to flood in the extreme, but still must look good if there is only a little bit of

water, or no water. These are high-end luxury apartments, so the development must look beautiful in all conditions. Through intense research, D4P has used strategic planting and designed levels of certain parts of the project to direct any water towards particular areas. UTILISING 3D DESIGN

Charter Square, Staines ©London Square

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D4P have also been involved in St Helen’s Square, designed by landscape architects Gillespies. They did an exceptional job of designing a space within a constrained urban area in the heart of the City of London. The square is a serene and calm place where people can socialise and relax. D4P were involved in the project from the construction phase, working for the principal contractor Maylim.

In initial discussions, it was quickly realised that the project could not be built in a traditional 2D drawing. Ani and his team bought information together from Maylim’s sub-contractors and suppliers, enabling them to build a complete 3D model whilst being able to spot and rectify potential problems and move things around where required. The project is an excellent example of using 3D technology with a collaborative approach. The process allowed for everything to run as smoothly as possible, in what was ultimately a giant jigsaw puzzle of different materials coming together. CONTACT D4P (DESIGN FOR PEOPLE) Tel: +44 (0)20 7533 6652 Email:

Pro Landscaper / November 2018 37

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Mayfair with EasyClean

Tobermore adds value with new easy to clean paving. Tobermore’s Mayfair paving range with sparkling natural aggregates is now available with EasyClean - integrated stain resistant technology that repels and protects against dirt and stains. Mayfair paving meets the growing demand for natural landscaping products with a unique granite aggregate surface that mimics the effect of natural granite. When fulfilling a client brief for a landscaping project, many questions can arise. Tobermore listened to customers who frequently asked how to clean paving, how to maintain, and

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how to keep paving looking fresh for longer. With customers using their outdoor space for entertaining and al fresco dining, spills, mess and general debris from high footfall is inevitable. With these questions in mind, paving and walling manufacturer Tobermore have invested ÂŁ4 million in a state of the art manufacturing plant to bring this paving technology to the UK market. Mayfair with EasyClean paving is treated with stain resistant technology during the manufacturing process allowing for built in protection. The coating prevents spills from

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penetrating the surface of the slabs, allowing for them to be wiped away with ease. As well as protecting against stains, EasyClean takes the work out of caring for paving. Maintaining EasyClean paving is a straightforward process, as its coated surface allows for dirt and debris to be washed away without the need for vigorous scrubbing or power hosing.

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EasyClean paving stays looking fresher for longer and is less susceptible to weathering, moss and greening than traditional paving, allowing for less cleaning time, an important feature for time-poor home owners who are increasingly demanding low maintenance solutions. Mayfair with EasyClean is supplied from stock so Tobermore can guarantee that your order will be fulfilled on time. To find your nearest stockist please visit our website or call our sales office on 0844 800 5736.

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How can we attract a wider selection of talent to our industry asks Tim Howell; perhaps the answer lies in making the workplace more diverse for starters I’ve written many times about the career opportunities within the landscape industry, and the difficulties that we face in attracting and retaining talented individuals. It’s a challenge that isn’t going away and is one that will continue to affect our business’, or us personally, over the next decade. There are already industry wide actions in place to encourage school leavers to consider landscaping as a career and now is the time to broaden our appeal and accessibility to a far wider group of people. At Mitie we carry out a detailed independent survey every year to measure employee engagement. It’s well known that the best performing organisations in the world are those which have highly engaged, highly motivated people – whether they are small regional enterprises or have a global reach. The answers allow us to hone in on the issues that are most important to our people and thereby allow us to align the fundamentals with our business objectives. With over 15,000 responses we get some exceptional insights into what really makes people tick – and there are always actions to put in place each year.

IT’S IMPORTANT WE FIND THE TIME TO ENGAGE WITH PEOPLE AND UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE A MORE ATTRACTIVE INDUSTRY TO CERTAIN GROUPS OF PEOPLE Many of the issues that are raised would come as no surprise anyone who manages people, but if we dig a little deeper there are 40

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often additional areas that can be drawn out. What’s clear is that these additional areas make the difference in creating high engagement, a fulfilling career and making us more attractive to anyone looking for employment. An area I am keen to focus on is diversity in our workplace. Clearly this can be interpreted to mean several different things, but I believe that this is an area that can really make a difference and bring many benefits. One thing is quite clear, our industry suffers from a lack of real diversity – yet it is an area that will create further employment opportunities, improve our recruitment ability and, to be quite frank, should be the normal state of play.

I saw a social media post this morning which put great acclaim on the fact that a female worker had been promoted to a senior position in a construction team: “the first female ever in this role” and while I can’t criticise the publicity around the subject, this should not be so unusual in 2018! How can we normalise that message? It’s correct to say that our industry is largely male dominated, predominantly white and with limited inclusion of people with recognised disabilities. Yet we’re an industry which can be fully accessible to absolutely everyone. To enable this, we can and should increase flexibility and

adapt our traditional way of working, would that really be so difficult? It’s important we find the time to engage with people and understand why we are a more attractive industry to certain groups of people.

AT MITIE WE RECOGNISE THAT OUR DIVERSITY MAKES US STRONGER, AND OUR DIVERSITY NETWORKS RAISE AWARENESS, ACTIVELY PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING AND PROVIDE SUPPORT Understanding what we must change, how we need to change, and the investment required to make these changes is important, but taking action and changing the traditional ways of working is critical to really opening up our work place to everyone. At Mitie we recognise that our diversity makes us stronger, and our diversity networks raise awareness, actively promote understanding and provide support for everyone. Do I have all the answers? Absolutely not, but I am certain that I will continue to encourage and support any necessary changes to ensure we have a fully inclusive environment which will enable our diversity to flourish. As we train and develop those people they will be able to move within an industry that will also show an increased awareness. An industry where full inclusion is the norm. ABOUT TIM HOWELL Tim Howell has worked in the landscape industry for more than 30 years. He is the managing director of Mitie Landscapes Ltd, where he has worked for the last 15 years. Mitie Landscapes employs more than 800 people across the UK. Share your thoughts with Tim at:

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MASTERING OUTLINE DESIGN ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson explores the art of not giving too much away! I’m not always entirely sure what is in the heads of my new students when they begin their studies at London College of Garden Design (LCGD). Their enthusiasm for learning seems boundless but their thoughts are full of preconceptions, and sometimes misconceptions, about the work of the garden designer. Two things initially mystify them. The graphic identification of general planting and the production of an outline design proposal, neither of which seem to include very much in the way of detail – and that is entirely the point. Clients often define their brief in early design meetings only to change their minds as the proposals take shape. Many then change their brief and subsequently the design changes in character and scope. Matching the design to the client’s vision is an art form in itself, thus the need for the designer to be flexible.

MATCHING THE DESIGN RESULT TO THE CLIENT’S VISION IS AN ART FORM IN ITSELF Rarely, if ever, does the design proposal defined at the outline stage get built and planted. The outline design must be signed off and agreed with a client before detailed design development can begin. Without this sign off, the design will endlessly evolve or unnecessary detailing will be undertaken for which there will be little recompense, as the original fee proposal and the time allocated are eaten up. I suggest to students that they use what is known as my general foliage line to identify areas of planting, sometimes trees and hedges in specific but not necessarily fixed places. The result is a lack of detail but a drawing that can be delivered in an effective time period. Line

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thicknesses and quality help create a sense of visual interest and the areas of planting can be colour rendered to introduce atmosphere, texture and spatial character. I encourage students to think in general terms using planting types – trees, shrubs, hedges, perennials or ornamental meadows – so that often quite expansive areas can be covered with planting that can be loosely described rather than specifically identified. Sketches and elevations in support help to explain the ideas, still quite general in character, so that a sense of place can be delivered. Elsewhere in the wider outline design, shapes and key elements are identified but the fine detail is omitted. Terraces are shaped, steps indicated, water features identified as shapes but with little or no information on specific levels, no identified dimensions and often no specific paving patterns. The delivery of the information is therefore time-efficient although the designer must also know that levels, dimensions and paving patterns will work. Too much information at this early stage would cost too much in time and fees. The subsequent detailed design process and

ultimate design delivery on site are much more time consuming and would demand a larger fee. The addition of too much detail can make the designer less flexible when the client demands what could well be reasonable changes. Much more of a threat is the chance that a finely detailed drawing could be whisked away for another party to build without the designer’s involvement and the loss of fee income. Of course, the designer should be able to support the outline design in terms of materials and planting, possible lighting treatments and spatial character but always as suggestions rather than definitive ideas. Keep outline designs loose, simple and flexible. Pictured: This outline design for a Wimbledon garden balances the delivery of design ideas with the flexibility to change and adapt. Design: Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam.

ABOUT ANDREW WILSON Andrew Wilson is a landscape and garden design consultant, director of the London College of Garden Design, an author, writer and lecturer.

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It’s often seen as risky to take a chance on new ventures within your business, Holly Youde says the benefits can be rewarding We all know the industry we are in is hugely diverse, but how do you know when or if you should diversify into another area, or stick with what you know? Many companies stick to what they know, which is fine, but opportunities come and go so I believe you must keep open-minded as to what they can potentially bring and how they can shape the future of the business. Be a trailblazer, be the first to do something different. Personally, I think the more you can offer your customer, the more attractive you are as a company. Customers are looking for a one-stop solution with minimal hassle and the more



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services you can provide in-house, the better. However, there is a limit and sometimes companies are trying to offer services beyond their capabilities. You must check your suppliers out, road test the products and services and check out their customer service ethos – this is hugely important as it will reflect on your reputation in the long run. Look at your infrastructure – will you need more staff, training, investment in stock, storage facilities or display areas? How are you going to market what you are doing, and work out the cost implications against the potential return? You have to be sure you can back up what you say you can provide. Your reputation is at stake! If you are using sub-contractors to extend your services, use those that you know and trust if you can. Check their insurances and ask your competitors or industry colleagues who they use and can recommend. If you are partnering with suppliers, check out their products, the manufacturing processes, the staff you will be dealing with (face-to-face if you can) and their long-term future plans. The more you know about the company the more you will be able to endorse and recommend their products. We try to select high quality, unique and robust products that we would personally aspire to have, that reflect the rest of the services we offer. Earlier this year we partnered with London Stone as their only Northern concession. We discussed the opportunity and found we had a similar ethos so decided on a mutually beneficial partnership. By doing this we are giving other local designers and

THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT THE COMPANY THE MORE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ENDORSE AND RECOMMEND THEIR PRODUCTS contractors the chance to utilise and view the products while offering industry advice. Some of our competitors appear to be suspicious about why we are doing this, but we had the facility to do it, are genuinely open to visitors and if anyone wants to view London Stone products in the North West, it’s now a service we can offer. There have been many discussions in the past about garden designers using design and build contractors to construct their projects. To some this is an absolute no-no, but I strongly disagree with this. Surely there are huge benefits to encouraging your customer to use a design lead contractor who appreciates the design process and attention to detail? Some things we have tried though haven’t worked out – but we have learnt from our mistakes and wouldn’t rule out trying them again in a different and more informed way. Diversifying in our experience has enriched the business and ourselves personally. It brings new energy and enthusiasm to the team and has enabled the growth we have experienced. It can be risky and expensive but I believe you get out what you put in – be brave, give it a go!

ABOUT HOLLY YOUDE Holly is joint director of North West based Urban Landscape Design Ltd and has a fundamental role in the growth and diversification of the business. Urban has recently won Best Commercial Garden at the APL Awards and this year the business won the High Sheriff of Cheshire Award for Enterprise.

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Pro Landscaper pays a visit to the Levisham Estate in the North York Moors National Park to talk horticulture and burial practices with its assistant director of park services


cross the course of this Pro Landscaper series on local authority parks, the focus has mainly been on smaller, intensely managed sites generally located within the confines of a single city or town. While this is quite understandable given the sheer number of traditional green spaces situated across the country, there are also many other incredibly worthwhile types of open areas available for the general public to explore. The most high-profile of these are probably the UK’s national parks, which are not only considerably more sizeable than your average inner city space but also possess a fundamentally different remit in terms of their use. With that in

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mind, this month’s focus is on the North York Moors, and in particular Levisham Estate, which is the only significant agricultural land owned by the National Park Authority.

its long and winding journey to the North Sea. In terms of the management of the park itself, responsibility sits with a variety of different agencies, depending on the region in question. These include The Forestry From the car park Commission, as well as North York to the pub Moors National Park Authority Located on the north east which, as mentioned, looks after coast just south of the three and a half thousand Middlesbrough, the 554 acre Levisham Estate. square mile National Park is Discussing the history of the about one third heather park, and Levisham Estate in moorland, broken up by several particular, Michael Graham (who MICHAEL GRAHAM dales and valleys located across works as assistant director of park its vast expanse. The largest of these is services for the Authority) said: “The Levisham Eskdale, through which runs the River Esk on Estate is primarily a grouse moor, as well as an Pro Landscaper / November 2018 49

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agricultural area. At the same time the public also have access, and as a result of that we get a lot of walkers. The most used route is a track from the bottom to the top of the site, the original purpose of which was to mark a gas pipeline. It’s an extremely useful resource and attractive route, not least because of the car park at one end and the pub at the other.” Moving on to the history of the area, and in particular the events which preceded its acquisition by the authority, he says: “Levisham Estate was originally owned by a private

well as the tenants, whether that’s the farmers and common graziers who work the land, or the Levisham Moor Hawking and Conservation Group which rents the shooting on the moorland. As well as the woodland, the authority is also responsible for the wider park

I THINK THE HISTORICAL SCOPE ACROSS THE SITE IS SOMETHING LIKE FIVE AND A HALF THOUSAND YEARS individual who decided to sell on the open market. The rumour was because it wasn’t that fantastic as a grouse moor, it would be ploughed up with the help of government grants which would mean the loss of an amazing habitat – heather moorland really isn’t that common. The authority brought it to protect it in the early 1970s.” He continues: “If it had been ploughed, it would also have meant the loss of an amazing area, the site contains valuable woodland including ancient wooded griffs, and ancient semi-matured broadleaf woodland. To this day, it’s still the core area of our maintenance effort.” Staying on the subject of the maintenance of the site, Michael says that responsibility is ultimately split between the Authority itself as

including vital areas such as public rights of way, which, have become increasingly important as the number of visitors has grown. “Everything we do is set out in the Levisham Management and Action Plan,” says Michael. “That includes an incredibly diverse number of work streams covering every aspect of the site, from the horticultural side of things, that might be identifying which areas of bracken we’re going to treat during a particular year, as well as how we’re going to tackle it. At the same time,

we’re also responsible for fencing, which is an enormous undertaking around the boundary of the Estate. One recent project was to fence a boggy area to allow safe, limited grazing in a field with high conservation value.” Going back to the woodland portion of Levisham Estate, the core task from the beginning has been to maintain it as a habitat for the numerous species of both flora and fauna which make their home there. This has recently included a project involving replenishing the area with oaks, which were in part chosen due to their compatibility with the soil and to provide a succession to existing oak trees. This has run in parallel with the creation of a “wood pasture” via the use of tree guards on the moor to protect existing specimens. Discussing this, Michael says: “We’re looking to provide a mosaic of habitats all the way across the Estate, while at the same time trying to retain it as a fantastic environment for people to come and enjoy. The oaks were particularly suitable because of their longevity, and because they help make the landscape look extraordinary. “As well as the woods, we also manage the fields on the estate which are rich in wild flowers by light grazing and no sprays or artificial fertilisers. These are incredibly beautiful and really valuable as a habitat.” Whilst the Estate has little in the way of iconic species, Michael is particularly proud of the otters and water voles which can be found in the river, as well as the white clawed crayfish. According to the North York Moors website, the latter are the only species of their kind which are native to the UK, but since the 1970s have been threatened by other similar types of wildlife introduced to supply restaurants. Discussing where they can be found in the National Park itself, the website continues: “White-clawed crayfish are present in the top part of the River Derwent, and some parts of the Derwent catchment still remain free from competition from the crayfish, the National Park Authority works with local people and environmental organisations to help conserve the native crayfish population.” The impact of visitors The story of the white crayfish, not just in the North York Moors but across the UK, provides an object lesson in just how fragile the natural


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environment is, particularly when it comes to the impact of things such as the introduction of competing species. With that in mind, how has the site coped with the sudden increase of human visitors since open access was introduced on moorland in 2006? Are there particular areas where a special effort has been required in order to keep the habitat as it should be? Michael says: “To be honest, the impact of visitors as a result of open access has been limited. The right of access only extends to walking and in practice most people tend to stick to footpaths and tracks rather than go walking on dense vegetation. There are few issues with litter on the moors, but there is a problem near roadsides and the ongoing effort of volunteers to pitter pick is essential to keep on top of the problem. While the wear and tear may be minimal when it comes to walkers, there is an unusual issue due to the popularity of the place which influences the fertility of the soil and therefore on the vegetation supported. This – according to him – also includes the

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chemical make-up of the soil itself. “At the higher end of the Estate there’s a natural amphitheatre called the Hole of Horcum, which is about 400ft deep and a mile and a half across. It has a really spectacular view over the moor, but people also use it in order to scatter the ashes of their loved ones, as well as to plant bulbs to commemorate them. There’s a weird poetry to that, given that the local legend says that it was formed when a giant scooped up a handful of earth to throw at his wife during an argument.” He continues: “It’s obviously a really meaningful activity for people, but it changes the nutrient status of the soil, which in turn displaces heather and bilberry for grass.” Levisham Estate is also site to a number of Iron Age barrows, which as any GCSE history student will tell you, is another word for burial mound. While clearly not horticulture related, these symbolise another reason why people continue to visit. Michael says: “The Estate has one of the largest ancient monuments in the National

Park. There’s a huge density of mainly Bronze Age finds, but there are also things like a 13th century grange belonging to the Cistercian Rievaulx Abbey. I think the historical scope across the site is something like five and a half thousand years.” Levisham Estate is an incredibly resonant part of the world, holding an enormous amount of meaning and enjoyment for both those who have grown up exploring the area as well as visitors from other parts of the country. It is also – at least for the most part – an unspoiled and special part of this National Park.

1 Newtondale ©Ebor Images/NYMNPA 2 Golden Plover ©Mike Nicholas/NYMNPA 3 Adder, Levisham ©David Smith/NYMNPA 4 Dog walking at Hole of Horcum ©Ebor Images/NYMNPA 5 Hole of Horcum ©Mark Denton/NYMNPA 6 Dundale Griff ©Mike Kipling/NYMNPA 7 Sunset over snow covered Hole of Horcum ©Jay Marrison/NYMNPA Pro Landscaper / November 2018 51

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SCANDOR LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS LTD Modernising a Portsmouth playground



Gardens of a 100-year old farmhouse are transformed



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Community and Schools development

An unwelcoming playground at a Portsmouth school is transformed into an accessible and functional space


ortchester Community School needed their central courtyard to be renovated to meet the needs of pupils with a range of physical special needs – including wheelchair users. The central courtyard is at the heart of the school, but due to sustained wear of the surfacing and the passing of time the area had become tired and uninviting to the pupils. Scandor Landscape Contractors were commissioned to create a low maintenance, attractive and hard-wearing space which whilst accessible for wheelchair users also provided an element of challenge and fun.

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Build The first stage of the project was clearance. This involved removing the hard features whilst also retaining some existing paving and trees. The existing hard landscaping consisted of non-permeable tarmac and concrete. On completion of the formation works, a range of new surfaces were installed directly by the company’s staff rather than by subcontractors. The new surfaces included artificial grass and resin bound surfaces – aluminium and concrete edgings were also installed. The artificial grass areas were gently mounded so that wheelchairs could pass over them, providing an element of fun for the pupils.

PROJECT DETAILS Project value £166,000 Build time 8 weeks Size of project 1,320m2

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Scandor worked closely with the client on the construction methods and gave advice about how costs could be saved from the outset – this continued throughout the project. Examples of this include reducing the areas of excavation where artificial grass was being laid. This was achieved by using a rubber shock pad laid onto the existing tarmac surface, saving labour and disposal costs. Challenges The first challenge Scandor Landscape Contractors faced was ensuring that all works proceeded safely as there was limited access to the works area. A clearly defined haulage route was agreed upon, and the appropriately sized machinery was chosen. Secondly, the courtyard area contained assorted services, which had to be identified, marked and exposed by hand digging, and then worked around safely. One of the other site constraints was the safety route which opened out onto the courtyard from the fire doors, as it


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had to be maintained at all times. The existing established trees also had to be protected and worked around to ensure no damage was done. The water from the roofs had been taken to a soakaway but this had become ineffective due to blockages and collapsing pipes. Consequently, there was an issue with excess water in the area at times of high rainfall. To overcome the drainage issues the scheme incorporated a large soakaway and permeable surfaces. This proved to be a significant challenge of the project. The initial plan was to dig down to the permeable chalk which was expected to be found at 3m deep. The water table was established at approximately 3m deep and so further excavations were carried out reaching 4.5m, but the chalk was never reached. The porosity of the surface became critical to the success of the project. The excavated areas were backfilled with clean porous aggregate. All the surplus excavated material had to be removed from site and the importing of the aggregate accessed all along a restricted route.

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Outcome The project has transformed the central courtyard and the school are very pleased with the result. A particular success of the project was the specific design of the undulating surfaces, born during the design process involving the school and undertaken by Hampshire County Council’s landscape architect. The pupils who use wheelchairs enjoy travelling between and over the shallow artificial grass mounds. The new quad is hugely popular with students and staff and is a busy meeting place at breaks and lunchtimes – numerous outdoor events continue to be held in the area. The school’s many wheelchair users report that the new quad design has created a much safer and more interesting experience than the previous tired concrete surfaces. This project also earned Scandor a BALI award. Upon reflection of the task and award David Brew, Scandor’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to have secured this prestigious BALI award for the work at Portchester Community School. The wide range of materials and surfaces installed within the inaccessible location by our highly skilled, directly employed staff is a recognition of their abilities and I am very proud of what they have achieved.”

1 The finished tree-shaded courtyard with different surfaces ready for use 2 A new brighter and attractive outlook from the school classrooms 3 Pupils enjoying their new outdoor space at breaktime 4 Tables and benches located throughout in the shade of the trees offering a restful environment


REFERENCES ABOUT SCANDOR LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS LIMITED Scandor is a leading landscaping specialist based in the south of England. Since 1973 they have been delivering quality and excellence, working with a wide range of clients including homeowners, commercial businesses and local authorities. Following a change in senior management in 2017, the business is expanding its geographical area of service delivery in both landscape construction and grounds maintenance and is exploring a selective acquisition to help achieve this.

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Resin Bound Gravel The Resin Mill Rubber Shock Pad Trade Partners International Ltd

AluExcel Edging Kinley Systems Limited Artificial Grass Namgrass

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Domestic Garden Construction between £30k-£60k


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FARMHOUSE PWP LANDSCAPE PWP Landscape transforms the gardens of a 100-year-old farmhouse in Askwith, enhancing habitats and reusing materials


rom the outset, the client approached PWP Landscapes with a brief that the design had to fit in with the traditional 100-year-old farmhouse it surrounds whilst improving the aesthetics of the front of the house. Being an exposed site with fantastic views, shelter had to be created so the garden could be enjoyed throughout the year whilst retaining the views over the valley. Finally, as the client is an ecologist there was a brief to create and

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enhance habitats and to use and recycle materials already on site as much as possible. The project After a comprehensive design process a final design was agreed upon and work started in August 2017. There was around a month of groundworks including manually sorting through all the reusable material on site. This included around 80 tonnes of stone from previous work and excavations, found and sorted ready

Project value ÂŁ67,000 Build time 3 months Size of project 1,349m2

for re-use in the new walls. Spoil from the excavations was used in the creation of the new levels and terraces, meaning that nothing was taken away from the site. PWP Landscapes design ethos was to mainly use the same stone throughout the 1 View over slab-rock pond back to house 2 Natural pond enhanced by large rock pieces 3 Drystone wall and pillar with reclaimed oak pergola 4 Riven stone sett patio with Yorkshire stone surround Pro Landscaper / November 2018 59

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project but in different finishes. Around the pond, they created a slab rock rockery using the raw unprocessed stone to give a natural feel around the pond – which was previously created by diverting a culvert through the garden and is now a haven for wildlife. The curving sweeping drystone retaining walls were broken up with large pieces of slab rock worked into the wall, creating seating and follies whilst also being a fantastic habitat for creepy crawlies. The feature wall and pillar at the front creates shelter from the wind whilst also breaking the garden into rooms so the fantastic views can be enjoyed. An orchard and meadow were created to enhance wildlife habitats. As the garden gets closer to the house, the stone gets more finished and worked. New Riven Yorkstone, from the same quarry, was 60

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used at the front of the house with traditional Yorkshire stone cobbles to be in keeping with the farmhouse. PWP Landscapes widened the entrance with drystone walls and pillars to frame the house. A reclaimed oak pergola with weeping wysteria creates an entrance to the side garden. Sawn stone and sett details were used on the terraced patio areas to the side of the house to give a slightly more contemporary feel nearer the house. The planting around the house comprises mainly of ornamental grasses, Pennisetum, Miscanthus, Molinia and Carex buchananii, to reflect on the edges and grass in the surrounding fields. The grasses are inter planted with delicate flowers to add a splash of colour and to attract insects. There is an area for an orchard where five different species of fruit trees

were planted including Apple ‘cox’s orange pippin’ and Plum ‘victoria’ – these were planted amongst a native meadow mix. With interest everywhere you turn – dramatic level changes, cascading water, hidden seating areas, from bold statement features to tiny bespoke details – the clients were extremely happy with the finished scheme. Challenges Due to the site location, and a mile-long narrow road and drive, getting large deliveries of materials was testing. Everything had to come on a 10 tonne lorry instead of the standard 18 tonne. The site also had copious underground streams and water from the surrounding hills and fields, so numerous land drains were put in and diverted into the pond. There was shared access with the

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DURING neighbouring farm so this meant the main drive had to be kept free. Over 100m of land drain were put in to channel the ground water, the culvert under the garage that goes into the stream was re-joined and fixed to ensure the water flowed through the site properly. All existing topsoil was stock piled, the subsoil was moved and used to create the terraces, then topsoil spread over the top. The job was very labour intensive as a lot of the materials were already on site, there were weeks of finding, sorting and coursing stone throughout the project. The manoeuvring of the slab rock was particularly difficult especially when working approximately 2m below the digger. A lot of the work was carried out during the autumn and winter and due to the exposed location, this was particularly testing at times.

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5 View across the garden showing sweeping levels and drystone walls


6 The garden is nestled in the surrounding countryside

PWP Landscape

7 A combination of natural and worked stone

Design and Build


ABOUT PWP LANDSCAPE Formed over 20 years ago they have since become one of the country’s most highly regarded garden design and landscape architectural companies. Together with their specialist teams, Ian and Adrian take pride in being one of the few landscape companies in the north of the UK who can provide a fully qualiďŹ ed turnkey service.

Johnsons of Wellifield Soil Green-tech Stone setts Talasey Group Plants d-tail (York)

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PROJECT DETAILS Build time 2012–2017 Size of project 978 sqm


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COURTYARD CALM IN THE CITY BBUK Evergreen oaks, a generous lawn, hedging and planting create an intimate and sheltered space at the White Collar Factory in the heart of London


new mixed-use development for Derwent Valley London in Old Street, designed by AHMM, was completed last year. BBUK undertook soft landscape design proposals for the ground floor courtyard, and new public route between City Road and Mallow Street, through Old Street Yard. The route opens into a courtyard, with a cafe, planting and lawn area forming a new public space in this part of London, sheltered from the noise and fumes of the Old Street roundabout. BBUK worked closely with the architects on the layout and form of the planters, creating intimate seating areas spaces throughout the courtyard. The surfaces were paved with recycled blue stable bricks, with a boardwalk

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signaling the boulevard between City Road and Mallow Street. Evergreen oak trees were planted at the base of the tower in order to give year-round interest, as well as to attenuate the wind from the tower. BBUK worked closely with the engineers to ensure that the trees provide optimum wind attenuation; it was agreed that the trees would provide maximum impact if crowns were maintained at a six-meter diameter. This also

1 View towards Mallow Street 2 Native underplanting to trees 3 View towards lawn area 4 Hydrangea petiolaris grown on bike store fencing 5 View towards Mallow Street Pro Landscaper / November 2018 63

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ensures they do not grow too big for the space. The trees were under-planted with a range of native and native-in-character flowering and berry-producing plants, visually enhancing the space and boosting the local ecology. As many of the plant species specified are deciduous, they are all planted within an enclosure of low box hedge; the plants chosen will flower from early spring through to autumn. The seasonal planting gives the space variety and animation throughout the year. A generous lawn is provided for sitting out during the summer months; the southern half of this is in shade through the majority of the year, so required a robust shade-tolerant lawn mix. The northern end of the lawn, which receives more sunlight, is planted with a species-rich turf that further adds to the site’s biodiversity. 64

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The bicycle store is clad with steel mesh and has been planted with Hydrangea petiolaris, a self-clinging climbing hydrangea.

6 View towards lawn and Mallow Street 7 View towards Old Street roundabout

ABOUT BBUK Led by Harriet Bourne, BBUK is an awardwinning landscape practice established in January 2002. From inception the practice has taken on a wide range of projects, ranging from streetscape design guidance, public parks and open spaces through to private gardens for individual and commercial clients.

REFERENCES Landscape architect BBUK Main contractor Multiplex Landscape contractor Ginkgo Landscape Contractors

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Chelsea Flower Show LG Eco garden Architect Hay-Joung Hwang



OUTDOOR ENTERTAINMENT With outside space becoming more valuable, Anji Connell looks at the ultimate way to maximise the use of your outdoor room We love to be outside so much we’re bringing all the comforts of the indoors out there with us. Amongst these comforts are outdoor TV’s which enable the enjoyment of our outdoor entertaining space long after the sun goes down. Aesthetically, there is little difference between a regular TV and an outdoor TV, but you will need a dedicated and approved outdoor TV designed and engineered for safety and better viewing experience. Outdoor models will cost more as they need to be safe and work effectively in daylight and extreme temperatures, humidity and various weather conditions. The thought of a TV in your garden may feel like an intrusion, spoiling your oasis of calm but landscape architect Hay-Joung Hwang 66

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demonstrated how it can fit beautifully, in the LG Eco-City Show Garden at RHS Chelsea 2018. Considerations Though they also need dust and insect protection, sun exposure is probably the single most significant factor in selecting the right outdoor TV. The more sun exposure, the more robust solution will be needed – including increased screen brightness, anti-glare properties, and heat resistance. Shaded Outdoor Areas For a shaded outdoor area which receives a low amount of sunlight – such as sunrooms, screened gazebos, verandas or a semienclosed patio or pool room – you will need an outdoor TV primarily for its weatherproofing. Partial Sunlight Outdoor Area There is a likelihood of Celexon inflatable outdoor screen

significant ambient light but no direct sunlight in semi-enclosed rooms, as they are susceptible to harsh sun and reflections. Full Sunlight Outdoor Area If there is the possibility of the sun shining directly on your TV, you will need a full sunlight outdoor TV. These outdoor TVs are also the most weatherproof as the TV will be exposed to all the elements. Another serious consideration is whether to choose waterproof or water resistant. Waterproof, meaning impenetrable to water, versus water resistant, meaning it can resist water intrusion to some degree. The same applies to the remote, the cabling, the wall mount or stand and the sound equipment. Sound The sound is less controlled outdoors, so TVs that are designed for this use may need additional amplified outdoor speakers which will boost sound quality.

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Seura Storm

Location Outdoor TVs are typically heavier than indoor models, mainly because of the technology that makes them more durable, including the weatherproof cases and onboard heating and cooling systems. Outdoor cable, wall, ceiling or pole mounts with a fixed or articulated screen are all available to purchase. 4K Ultra High Definition Television 4K Ultra HD TV has four times the detail of 1080p, making it the most detailed television resolution. It is widely available on the market, giving sharper images and smoother lines. Outdoor Smart TV A Smart TV is Wi-Fi enabled and runs streaming services through an interface built into the TV. It can connect directly to the internet, apps and services such as Netflix, Youtube, Amazon, Apple TV and Spotify. LG The 77in LG W8 TV used in the LG Eco-City Garden has an incredibly high quality screen with Dolby surround sound. It is slick at 4mm thick, weighing only 12.3kg, but isn’t weather-proof so it will need to be placed in a covered area. ProofVison ProofVision’s DuraScreen 65in Outdoor TV screen is five times brighter than an indoor TV with added anti-reflection technology, which makes it viewable in direct sunlight. Built in fans control the inner temperature so that it can withstand hot and cold conditions, with the toughened glass providing extra provisions. This means it can be left out all year round.

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Aqualite Aqualite has a weatherproof IP66 rated outdoor ‘intelligent’ touchscreen available in a variety of sizes, both in standard and high brightness. Its toughened tempered glass and multi-point touch screen with two touch sensors allow you to drag, drop and highlight. Séura Séura outdoor TVs have a full range available for shade, part-shade and full sun areas

C SEED: Supermarine tv and speakers

picture, indoors or out. Celexon has a giant inflatable screen at 13in high with a screen size of 310x174cm – but you will need an outdoor projector. Screen paint from Visunext The use of screen paint is not a true alternative but a compromise. It contains reflective particles not found in conventional paint. Darker colours are suitable for very bright projectors (ca 8000 lumens). Lighter colours are suitable for those with lower brightness (ca 1500 lumens).

C Seed C Seed is the world’s largest TV at 201in and disappears when not in use. Seven sections form a slim black obelisk on top of a flush mounted rotating plinth that lives underground, emerging at the press of a button they unfold like bats wings. The backlit LED screen boasts a performance 500 times that of a standard television, with full-daylight compatibility, and the ability to rotate tto follow the sun throughout the day. Sensors measure wind and it will retract in gusts over 50km per hour. It comes with its own state of the art flush mount speakers and subwoofer. TV Casing A TV shield is a stylish way of protecting your TV screen. It is made from waterproof, shatter and scratch-resistant, dust, bug and tamperproof plastic, converting an indoor screen to an outdoor one, and its locks are burglar proof. A screen and projector Elite Screens outdoor portable, floor standing Yard Master 2 OMS120H2 projector screen allows you to watch shows with a vibrant


ABOUT ANJI CONNELL Internationally recognised interior architect and landscape designer Anji Connell is a detail-obsessed Inchbald Graduate, and has been collaborating with artisans and craftsmen to create bespoke and unique interiors for a discerning clientele since 1986. Anji is a stylist, feature writer and lover of all things art and design.

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he popularity of using Paving Grid is continuously growing as landscapers and contractors appreciate its durability, strength and appearance. Paving Grid has been used in many landscaping applications for the past 20 years, and it’s no surprise it’s such a popular surfacing solution with the amount of applications and benefits it boasts. Paving grid is primarily used for surface strengthening, land use and green space. So where can I apply AHS Paving Grid? • Private roads and driveways • Gravel / grass parking areas • Private / access roads • Hard shoulder reinforcement • Embankment stabilisation • Camp sites • Footpaths and walkways • Wheelchair access routes • Golf courses • Farms and paddocks • Footpaths • Cycling paths • Festival sites and showgrounds • Playgrounds • Hardstandings for outbuildings and caravans • Aircraft parking and helipads • And many more… What are the benefits of using AHS Paving Grid? 100% recycled. 100% natural permeability. 100% recyclable. Paving Grid can be infilled with grass, gravel, sand, earth or stones, making it the perfect choice for a multitude of projects and finishes. The interlocking system creates an incredibly strong, load bearing surface and has a high load bearing capacity of 350t/m2. AHS Paving Grid is specially engineered so that the grids are anti-slip, frost resistant and

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UV resistant. Our grids will not crack, rot or splinter and will deliver incredible structural integrity. In comparison to other materials, the porous surface of our grids fully supports drainage and reduces the spread of urban hot-spots and flood risk zones. As an industry leader, our Paving Grid is competitively priced, available for nationwide delivery and it’s guaranteed for 10 years. At AHS, we supply everything you need for your Paving Grid installation including: • Geotextile membrane • Grass seed • Gravel and decorative aggregates • Sub-base materials • Rootzone • Sharp sand • Edging and kerbing AHS Paving Grid delivers a simple, cost-effective surfacing solution. Can we help with your next project? Visit to read more about our Paving Grid or call one of our friendly Account Manager’s on 0333 2070440 with any enquiries you may have.


17/10/2018 10:27


Why I...

#lovehorticulture Early memories of his grandmother’s garden triggered an interest in plants for Richard McKenna who went on to develop a successful career in horticulture



fabulous display of pink Nerines against an old stone wall in my grandmother’s garden in County Laois, sparked my initial interest, and later love, of horticulture. I became intrigued and fascinated by how it would come into leaf every summer, flower every autumn and then disappear for six months only to make an elegant entrance once again the following year – but this time bigger and better. It got me thinking about the growth and survival of plants. When I left Ireland, I was fortunate enough to be able to study horticulture for three years at Writtle College. My eyes were opened to the many diverse possibilities that the industry presented, from soil science to the food production of soft fruit, top fruit and vegetables, and from grounds maintenance to protected cropping, plant breeding, propagation and production of ornamentals. Learning about their use in the environment, whether in forestry, rural landscapes, garden design or commercial planting, means I recognise the importance of plants in our everyday lives. Yet, despite this, the skills, training and time needed to become a horticulturist are often misunderstood and not always valued outside the profession. I love what I do. I meet and learn from skilful growers. I work with passionate plants people and am encouraged by our clients – dedicated landscape architects and designers whose purpose is to create beautiful spaces so people from every background can benefit. As an industry, we should all THE SKILLS, TRAINING AND TIME continue to encourage the NEEDED TO BE A HORTICULTURIST next generation of horticulturists. ARE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD We should embrace the AND NOT ALWAYS VALUED OUTSIDE opportunities technology brings THE PROFESSION to us to demonstrate the importance of our profession and drive people to proactively choose it as a career. There are a variety of opportunities in our industry, and working with plants knowing that they will be used to make the environment in which we live better, is a privilege. Every future horticulturist just needs to find their Nerine.

Tweet us @ProLandscaperJW and tell us why you love horticulture using the hashtag #LoveHorticulture


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Class of 2018

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For more information visit PL AWARDS.indd 5

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irstly, a massive congratulations to this year’s 30 amazing winners, you have officially joined an elite group (now numbering 120 people) who will hopefully be shaping the landscape sector for years to come. Choosing this year’s winners has indeed been harder than ever. Each year the quality of entries improves immensely to the degree where we could have included twice the amount of people in this year’s awards. So again, we extend our warm congratulations to all the winners and commiserations to those who were unsuccesful this time – we hope you will apply again next year. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our headline sponsor Green-tech, who have been a real pleasure to work with. Having a sponsor that shares your views and


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really understands the importance of recognising and highlighting the next generation has made the process even more enjoyable – again thank you Richard and the Green-tech team for all your support. Now for a few statistics: as of 2018 we have 120 members in the Pro Landscaper’s 30 under 30: The Next Generation club, this year 8 of the finalists are female, a fair proportion of our finalists run their own business and we’ve had entries from North Yorkshire right down to the south coast, and every region in-between. We have coverage across the entire sector including landscapers, garden designers, landscape architects, arborists and suppliers. The youngest winner is only 22 and has already enjoyed massive success within the industry.

Pro Landscaper’s 30 under 30: The Next Generation is a really important initiative for us and we are very proud of how the awards showcase the superb people, the array of skills and the wide range of roles in the horticulture sector. We very much look forward to Tuesday 20 November 2018 and celebrating this great achievement with all the 30 under 30 winners, the sponsors and all those attending this year’s FutureScape at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey. If you would like more details, please contact Amber on 01903 777570. Well done all... Jim & Lisa and the Pro Landscaper Team

FROM THE SPONSOR... We are delighted to support and sponsor Pro Landscaper ‘s 30 under 30: The Next Generation 2018. This is a fantastic initiative which seeks to recognise and reward the achievements of 30 inspiring young people in our industry who have demonstrated ambition, development and progression in their chosen career and have been highlighted as the rising stars in our industry. Richard Kay Chairman, Green-tech

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30 UNDER 30

zeyna soboh 27

Zeyna is a lead designer on landscape and urban design projects across the UK, working on projects including public realm, streetscape, cycle infrastructure, transport hubs, green infrastructure and strategies and highway infrastructure, including bridges. Currently working at WSP, she is involved from inception through to detailed design and construction as part of a team overseeing graduates and assistants, and independently with regular client interaction. Zeyna’s managers say she is an influencer in multi-disciplinary teams, with a future forward way of thinking. She is leading collaboration in design and a holistic way of thinking, most recently in NSIP schemes of a large scale.

Inspired by RHS Chelsea, Will set an early course to study horticulture initially at Brinsbury College and then at The London College of Garden Design. Now running his own garden design firm, Will has a full order book and three show gardens at RHS Hampton Court Flower show to his credit. Thus far for his show gardens he has been awarded Silver, Silver-Gilt, Gold and the title of RHS Young Designer of the Year. Will conveys that his next career goal is to design a garden at RHS Chelsea on Main Avenue where he can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the industry.

will williams 22

georgia smith 28

Since joining the company just over a year ago as a Bankside urban gardener, Georgia has been involved in securing Better Bankside a Gold medal at London in Bloom in 2017, and a Green Flag award for the management of its green spaces. Georgia’s role is to maintain the network of green spaces developed through the Bankside Urban Forest, a long-term partnership project that aims to improve the network of streets and public spaces. Helping to plan ongoing development and being involved from planting and maintenance to identifying potential new sites, Georgia’s passion for introducing others to the benefits of having a greater engagement with gardening and nature has helped build the Bankside Lunchtime Gardening Club. 8

Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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Starting with Green-tech nearly five years ago as a technical sales advisor, Jordan has worked his way up the sales ladder to become a key account manager. Looking after a select group of high revenue accounts, Jordan develops relationships with existing customers to further their business with Green-tech, enhancing and developing their reputation in the market place through client visits and industry events. Jordan’s biggest achievement to date has been becoming the youngest member of the sales team in history to achieve over one million pounds turnover in a single financial year.

jordan webster 25

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30 UNDER 30

phil o’brien 29

Joining Bowles and Wyer as an assistant gardener in 2013 with a National Diploma and BSc in Horticulture, Phil progressed within the company at lightning fast pace. Being fast-tracked to team leader within two months and promoted to maintenance foreman after six, his mentor attributes this to his enthusiastic and careful approach to working in high end sensitive environments, and his dedicated approach and excellent personnel skills. Phil believes that the public perception of horticulture needs to change to ensure that the sector stays relevant in a modern society. He is currently looking for volunteering opportunities in schools to run horticulture workshops to motivate young talent.

Combining a strong connection to nature with the creative background of a Fine Art degree and passion for colour, Kate’s style has often been described as ‘painting with plants’. Now running her own design business, Kate undertakes a range of projects from small urban retreats to large family gardens where she is inspired by nature, the built environment and people, thriving on integrating these influences to realise clients’ hopes and expectations and creating something truly personal. With a host of accolades, including gaining a Gold medal at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show in 2015 and winning Gold and Best in Category at BBC Gardeners World Live in 2017, Kate has most recently been awarded Silver for ‘The Warner Edwards Garden’, designed with Tamara Bridge at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.

alexandra buckley 26

With a BA in Garden Design, Alexandra enjoys the creative side of her job and regularly draws plants, nature and landscapes in her spare time. Blending her passion with her daily work, she believes the future of horticulture shouldn’t just be left to the older generation. Having been the nursery supervisor at Provender Nurseries for the last 3 and a half years, Alexandra now manages a team of 5 and enjoys the daily challenges involved in managing the A-Z shrubs, herbaceous, grasses, climbers, polytunnels, shade houses and exotics. She was recently selected to travel to Denmark on a staff exchange organised by the International Plant Propagators Society.

adam newson 21

kate savill 29

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Starting as a trainee landscape architect with Ground Control, and now with a first-class degree in Landscape and Garden Design from Writtle University college, Adam built experience in locations such as Westfield shopping centre. With a passion for technical design and landscape, Adam shows an understanding of construction, installation, practicalities and effectiveness of schemes in the real world. As a recent graduate he is keen to develop his knowledge further in the industry with the aim of continuing in his education to do a Masters and hopes to join the Pathway to Chartership. Adam’s aim is to ensure that people see landscape as an integral part of the urban fabric and recognise its importance to health and wellbeing.

30 Under 30 / November 2018


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30 UNDER 30

caitlin mclaughlin 28 As director and garden designer at her practice Thrift Landscapes, Caitlin combines her two passions of garden design and science, utilising her background in plant conservation to instil an element of conservation and biodiversity within each design she works on, encouraging wildlife and increasing species richness with native wildflowers. Caitlin has previously worked at Kew Gardens and the Natural History Museum, and while already holding a BSc (hons) in Biological Sciences and a Master’s in Research in Conservation and Utilisation of Plant Genetic Resources, Caitlin continues her education further by currently completing a RHS Level 3 certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting.

michael rose 27

Relatively new to the landscaping industry, Michael is a business development manager at Mitie Landscapes. With the responsibility of selling winter maintenance and landscaping supplies across a range of business sectors, Michael has recently been appointed as an ambassador for Mitie. Bringing a range of transferable skills from seven years in sales and account management, Michael joined the company a year ago and has quickly developed an enthusiasm for outsourcing landscape services. His ultimate career goal is to lead a sales team of his own, offering companies across the UK the best service and value possible.

samuel moore 22

Having been involved in horticulture since the age of 15 and completing a BSc (Hons) in Landscape and Garden Design, Samuel joined Cube 1994 as an assistant designer in April of last year. He now works alongside the managing director, lead designer and project manager, working from initial meetings and concepts to producing plans and 3D visuals. Samuel says one of his biggest accomplishments so far is helping the company move over to a CAD system, and his ultimate career goal is to become a Member of the Society of Garden Designers and win a Gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.


30 Under 30 / November 2018

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marcus glover 23

As the head of operations (grounds) at The CGM Group, Marcus is spoken highly of by his colleagues. His managers state that his range of qualifications and desire to learn is a boost to the company, being a great asset to the business with his calming methods and commitment to the business. Marcus oversees the ground maintenance managers for the East and West side of the company, visiting and liaising with clients, managers and assistant operations managers on a regular basis. Luke supervises the scheduling and overseeing of client regular programmed works, assisting and monitoring performance of the teams and their development. His next aim is to achieve a Level 5 professional qualification within management.

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30 UNDER 30 Ed is currently the lead designer at Hosta Consulting, covering all aspects of landscape and garden design from consultation, design, implementation and post completion evaluation. Selected as one of the RHS’s Young Designers at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park this year, Ed took home a Silver medal with his garden ‘Finding [urban] Nature’ - ‘F[u] N’, and a Gold medal and best in category for ‘A drop of Urban Green’ designed for Hosta in 2016. With an emphasis on ecological planting and working with communities to build spaces to enjoy, Ed’s goal is to bring nature into cities and improve lives through design. He is keen to promote the value of horticulture, being an architecture tutor at the University of Nottingham and ambassador for #chooselandscape with the Landscape institute.

ed higgins 28

ryan thompson 28

Having joined Ground Control at the age of 19 as a ground maintenance operative, Ryan has now been with the company for nearly 10 years and progressed through the ranks to become the Head Gardener at The Tower of London. Overseeing the team and keeping all horticultural aspects of the site aesthetically pleasing for the annual 2.4 million visitors, Ryan maintains the 1.6ha site including 13 formal and amenity lawns, rose borders, shrubs and annual flower displays. Having achieved his career goal of becoming Head Gardener, Ryan is now keenly focused on the design elements of his role. Receiving awards from BALI and London in Bloom last year, his team are looking to continually improve and grow on this success in coming years.

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hannah ryan 25

Starting out as a Sales Administrator and working her way up to Technical Product Manager within 5 years, Hannah’s directors express that her passion and commitment to excellence has resulted in new quality systems and improvements in technical support. Hannah’s contributions to Global Stone include creating and implementing a new complaints procedure, giving the business a consistent approach and easier system to use, with the ability to track ‘trends’ of complaints and prevent issues before they arise. Managing quality and stock control through all its processes, Hannah eventually hopes to work towards more senior roles where she can be more involved in the selection process of products.

william innes taylor 25

William is a committed and accredited horticulturist, enthused by the industry and its impact on the world. Currently a Project Manager at Tim Wells Nurseries, his role is to oversee all landscape operations from amenity landscaping to full scale commercial with a goal to increase turnover, profitability and company performance. William finds a valuable part of his role is working with students with behavioural difficulties from a local MLD school. He expresses he is committed to promoting the horticultural industry to young people, giving them opportunity to build aspiration and purpose in landscape and nursery work. 30 Under 30 / November 2018 11

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30 UNDER 30

max harriman 27 inez williams 25 One of three garden designers at Bowles & Wyer and part of an eight-strong design team at the company, Max is involved in all aspects of the design process from CAD detailing to graphic presentations, though currently predominantly working on roof gardens and the smaller urban design projects. Graduating with a first class honours degree in Plant Science with Industrial Experience and a distinction in garden design from the London College of Garden Design, Max joined the company as a design assistant and within 12 months was promoted to garden designer. He was shortlisted this year for the RHS Young Designer of the Year, having had his first opportunity to build a show garden at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

Currently a Green Flag Award judge and consultant landscape manager for LUC, Inez is passionate about promoting the health, cultural and wellbeing benefits of horticulture, ensuring communal landscapes are resilient and preserved for generations to come, and spaces of heritage importance are conserved. With a first class degree in Garden Design Restoration and Management and a Masters in Cultural Heritage Management, Inez now works within a range of landscape disciplines from rural, urban and historic landscape management to restoration and open space strategies. Inez was recently part of the project team working alongside Talbot Farm Landscapes to reinstate the Hyde Park parade ground, which was recognised for a double BALI National Landscape Regeneration Scheme Award.

sam beetlestone 29

greg packman 29

Sam founded Beetlestone’s Garden Maintenance in 2015, specialising in the preservation and upkeep of professionally designed and built gardens, ranging from city gardens to large countryside estates. Having recently received the accolade of 2018’s New Company of the Year from The Association of Professional Landscapers, Sam’s goal is to have a small but strong team, providing a wide range of professional services and ultimately becoming the most sought-after garden company in Kent and South East London. 12

30 Under 30 / November 2018

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Since his childhood, a fascination for trees naturally led Greg into a career. Enjoying the challenge of learning new species and working on fungal identification, Greg aims to discover more about the biology, physiology and function of trees, along with their role in the eco-system and landscape. As an arboriculturist, he is primarily involved in risk management inspections across the central royal parks, as well as focusing on education with volunteers and students; also developing a successful guided tree walk programme. Notably, Greg focuses on managing the risk of Massaria branches on London plane trees, he has helped develop a greater understanding of the pathogen, communicating and sharing his knowledge with others in conferences and workshops. As an active member of the London Tree Officers Association he delivered a presentation on Massaria at the National Tree Officer’s conference in 2017 and chairs the LTOA Massaria working group.

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james gadd 28

Partnering with his brother in their joint venture at Gadd Brothers Trees and Landscapes, James manages the arboriculture side of the business. His role covers anything from quoting, pricing and submitting planning applications, to being out on the tools and supervising the daily running of the business. Starting from their father’s garage 10 years ago, the company now boasts eight members of staff, a fleet of vehicles, works as far afield as New Zealand and has built gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Having gained the Trust Mark accreditation, their goal is to become part of the Arboriculture Association Approved Contractor Directory.

30 UNDER 30

romain bardin 27

With a keen eye for detail and having successfully handled a number of high value projects ranging in complexity, Romain is currently a landscape architect at Thomas Hoblyn Garden Design. Having been amazed by the diversity and complexity of fauna and flora since childhood, Romain even committed his dissertation to the subject, entitled: ‘The consideration of fauna in landscape architecture products’. Applying this knowledge and creativity in a practical way, he flexes his artistic ability wthin his CAD work, where his managers affirm he produces superior drawings. And furthermore, through creating a new template on Vectorworks, helping make his company more efficient in creating plans, graphic renders and even 3D models.

peter robinson 29

Having been a landscape architect for more than six years, Peter is now one of three directors at GRDN Landscape and Garden Design. Applying his design, management and business skills helped GRDN thrive in its first six months of trading. Having previously worked for Planit-IE’s London studio for five years, Peter gained valuable experience overseeing the design and construction of high-profile schemes, taking projects from concept through to completion. An example of this was The Birmingham Conservatoire – an RIBA awardwinning project which he led, and for which he is now a chartered member of the Landscape Institute.

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connor scott 26

Having completed courses in landscape design and originally starting ‘on-the-tools’ amassing experience in commercial landscaping, Connor discovered his greatest strengths were within surveying, costing and selling gardens. Since joining E Williams Landscapes as the contracts manager, Connor has secured new and interesting projects, helping to develop and grow the business. By implementing a new method of costing projects, he has made it clearer to calculate quantities of materials, labour and prices, helping to trace profit and losses. Connor’s new system has made the company almost completely paperless when quoting, ensuring clients receive accurate and tailored quotations, and additionally meaning that information is readily available remotely on site.

30 Under 30 / November 2018 13

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30 UNDER 30

michael voller 25

With nine years industry practice and qualifications from Capel Manor College, Michael built experience with the Tottenham Hotspur grounds team, involved in the aesthetic development of their state-of-the-art training complex. Now a horticultural team leader at Queen Elizabeth Olympic park with idverde, Michael manages a team of gardeners, apprentices and volunteer groups, leading in maintaining the grounds to the highest standard, ensuring the landscape is aesthetically pleasing for the public to enjoy and making sure it is prepared for large scale events such as Arcadia. With a goal of building show gardens at RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court, Michael’s biggest motivation is to create a greener initiative, to build more green spaces for wildlife and tackle pollution across London and the UK.

Starting out as a trainee, George has worked as a landscaper for the past five years, acquiring his skills and training on the job. Passionate about all elements of landscaping, George enjoys working with contemporary concepts to create functional, beautiful, relaxing gardens. Currently a team leader at Urban Earth and being responsible for building some of their industry sector award-winning gardens, George prides himself on delivering strong customer service and actively works to develop trust with his clients. He is enthusiastic about the horticultural industry, believing it encompasses a variety of career paths and that people who have an aptitude to succeed and enjoy hard work have opportunities for quick progression.

george croton 22

tom simpson 29

Having retrained as a garden designer in 2016, Tom has had a swift start in the industry, working for and learning from some of the country’s leading garden designers. Currently a part-time designer for Rosebank Landscaping alongside building and managing his own garden design business, Tom is gaining momentum with a number of new projects as a result of his recently success at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower show, where his first showcased garden at an RHS show won Gold. His garden ‘The South West Water Green Garden’ explored the sustainable management of rainwater in gardens to reduce the risk of flooding and highlight the importance of water as a precious resource.


30 Under 30 / November 2018

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30 UNDER 30

ollie neaves 29

With an initial education in engineering, Ollie’s transferable skills and love for art, sculpture and gardens has motivated his career as a garden designer. Currently working at Tectonic, Ollie undertakes high-end domestic installations and commercial projects. With 2017 being a standout year, Ollie was actively involved in two specialist therapeutic gardens for the NHS Chase Farm Hospital 2017, which were awarded Gold and Best Public Building Gardens. Furthermore, Ollie won Gold at both the Ideal Home Show 2017 and Young Gardener of the Year 2017. His managers state that Ollie is truly an up and coming talent in the industry who has gone from strength to strength, having exemplary plant knowledge and attention to detail with a great eye for design.

With an enthusiasm for designing, building and maintaining outdoor spaces, Luke is the fourth generation of his family to be involved in Elizabeth Gardens, which has been established for well over sixty years. Growing up learning the trade, in 2012 Luke gained triple distinctions in his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture and was awarded the Norfolk County Scholar certificate in advanced studies. Joining the family business currently as a landscape manager, Luke is involved from start to finish from surveying and designing through to construction. His biggest accomplishment to date has been designing and building a project last year that received a Marshalls Regional Award for Best Engineering Achievement, making it to the national finals.

luke plumstead 24 Growing up on a family farm with a love for the outdoors, Rebecca studied physical geography at university, sparking her interest in soil science. She is now a soil scientist at Tim O’Hare Associates, where her role includes resource surveys, management plans, investigations and site inspections. Dealing with variable topsoils, subsoils, rootzones and tree soils from all over the UK, Rebecca’s reports involve the interpretation of laboratory data for a wide range of scenarios. Stating that soils are at the heart of any new landscape, she gets a buzz from solving soil problems which would otherwise result in detrimental effects on drainage, plant establishment and peoples’ wellbeing.

rebecca hollands 26

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STAND 73/131

It’s not just a tree.

It’s a legacy. Richmond, North Yorkshire

That’s why... …we are fanatical about our quality standards, from root to crown; …we are continually investing in the latest technologies to reduce our carbon footprint; …we practice one of the most robust pest and disease monitoring regimes in the country; …we personally select and tag over 95% of the trees we bring into cultivation to produce our ‘Majestic’ trees; …we source our production stock only from highly reputable nurseries with whom we have longstanding rapport; and why... …we are strong advocates for improved biosecurity measures in the UK especially in light of the current threat to our landscapes from Xylella fastidiosa.


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Exploring the designer’s delightful show garden



Choosing white is just right for festive planting schemes



JAMIE BUTTERWORTH The plantsman discovers flora on a mountain climb


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COVILI FRANCE VIVAI PIANTE Exploring an abundant nursery and grower in Italy


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18/10/2018 16:35

RH 'Quality' half-page Pro Landscaper:Layout 1



Page 1

Readyhedge. The home of quality. Readyhedge is the home of the highest quality instant hedging and screening. All our hedging plants are irrigated, fed and trimmed regularly in the field or in the container, and before despatch all plants are inspected and cleared of any imperfections by hand.

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17/10/2018 10:07


NURTURE NEWS Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy extended by 50,000 trees

Fifty thousand trees made their way across the UK in mid-October to form part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC), a network of global forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. The trees will be planted by 10,000 members of the public who snapped them up in a matter of minutes in a free tree giveaway, in a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV, in support of a landmark documentary, The Queen’s Green Planet, screened on ITV in April. It followed Her Majesty the Queen and the ambitious QCC legacy project which brings together her deeply held commitment to the Commonwealth and her love of trees. Each specially-labelled tree pack went out on Monday 15 October and contained five UK-sourced and grown native broadleaf trees – two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel – for ITV viewers to plant as their own contribution to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative. Among those who applied for the trees during giveaways are schools, charities and care homes.

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Xylella fastidiosa reported at trading company in West Flanders The Belgian Nurseryman and Growers Federation (AVBS) has reported that Xylella fastidiosa is present at a trading company in West Flanders. This is the first time the bacterial pathogen has been identified in Belgium. The Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) discovered three infected olive trees during a routine check on the company. The trees had been extracted from Spain. The trees were destroyed and FASFC has

described the discovery as a find, not an outbreak. The Belgian company has reportedly now destroyed all its olive trees. Around the infected trees, no vectors are present after testing. Further assessments have started to confirm the irradiation of all traces. According to the AVBS, the Spanish authorities have now examined the Spanish supplier of the infected olive trees. The AVBS advises companies that have imported olive trees from countries

where Xylella is present, and show signs of dehydration, to report it to the FASFC for further investigation. Although the Belgian interception does not affect the UK market currently, people still need to remain vigilant with their own imports and purchases of potential host plants.

Wildflower meadow rescue mission Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are on a mission to restore wildflower hay meadows. Together they will deliver ‘Haytime Rescue’. This is a new 14-month partnership project supported by a grant of almost £20,000 from the Lancashire Environmental Fund. Isobel Hall, programme manager at YDMT, said: “With support from local volunteers,

farmers and specialist growers at Kew Wakehurst Millennium Seed Bank, we aim to bolster populations of rare species of wildflowers in Bowland. These species include melancholy thistle, globeflower and birds eye primrose.” The project will deliver training and support for volunteers. This will help them learn about propagating plants from sustainably sourced seed. It will

also cover how to foster the plug plants, looking after them until they are large enough to grow out into suitable sites across Bowland. In addition to this specific species work, the projects will help ongoing field scale restoration of hay meadows. This will continue to restore the network of species-rich sites across the AONB which is so vital to the species which rely on them. Open days will be held for people to see the results of the restoration work.



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Pro Landscaper attended Hillier Trees’ second annual tree planting workshop on Wednesday 26 September 2018. Members of the tree industry congregated from all over the country for a day of presentations, tours, and networking at Hillier Tree Nursery near Petersfield, Hampshire. Late September was perhaps the best time of the year for Hillier Trees to host their second annual tree planting workshop. Their 750 acres of British-grown trees were just beginning to light up in deep reds and yellows, with each row of tree a different shade to the last. After warming up with complimentary tea, coffee and pastries, the day started at 9am with a welcoming lecture from Jim Hillier. Jim laid out the itinerary for the day and gave some background to Hillier Trees and the wider Hillier company. He then introduced the next speakers, Phillip Handley and Madalena Vas Monteiro from the Urban Forest Research Group, who offered insight into their latest research. This included projects mapping canopy cover in urban locations and research into the value of urban trees. Following the presentations, the group convoyed over to Adhurst Farm for a tour of the nurseries and a variety of demonstrations. This began with Hillier Trees Nursery Manager Phil Hall, who explained and demonstrated the grafting and budding techniques used to propagate trees at the nursery. Next was a demonstration from Russell Horsey of TreePans. Russell showed the audience how to install TreePans and explained the benefits of the new product that has only recently made its way to the UK. He explained how the innovative product 88

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was designed to protect newly planted trees, much to the interest of the attendees. TreePans are placed around new trees to keep mowers and strimmers away, and their design naturally kills off weed and grass competition without the need to mulch or apply chemicals. Moving on from this, Gripple gave a demonstration on how to install their tree guying kit, an above-ground tree anchoring solution used to stabilise trees and promote vertical growth. They also presented their root ball anchoring system, inviting audience members to participate and learn how to install the product hands-on. As the tour and demonstrations drew to a close, Jim took the time to talk about the ever-pressing topic of biosecurity and urged guests to play their part and buy locally to reduce the risk of introducing international pests and diseases to the UK tree population. The final presentation of the day was given by GreenBlue Urban, who discussed their solutions for urban tree project planning and planting, including their sustainable underground drainage systems. There was then time to network before heading home. Hillier’s mission is: “to inspire the creation of green living spaces for now and the future”. By inviting industry professionals to view their British-grown trees and learn about urban tree planting, this is exactly what they achieved with their second annual tree planting event. Pro Landscaper looks forward to seeing what next year’s event will bring.

18/10/2018 09:38





COREDC.CO.UK | 01753 652 555

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Pervoskia “Blue Spire’ and Scabiosa atropurpurea

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Echinacea “Delicious Candy’

Designer PLANTS Ann-Marie Powell’s show garden commemorates the British Isles with a focus on supporting wildlife and nature

The success, strength, energy and vitality of any show garden design is often provided by its plants. Ann-Marie Powell’s design for the 30th anniversary BBC Countryfile Wildlife Garden at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was certainly no exception. In fact, the success of the garden relied more heavily on the plant quality, genus selection and knitting together of plant communities than in any previous garden of hers. The premise of the garden was to celebrate 30 years of BBC’s Countryfile through a garden that commemorated the whole of the British Isles, inspiring and reconnecting visitors with nature. 90

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Ann-Marie decided to create a tiered landscape which rolled up and away from a farmer’s dwelling – represented by the RHS hub – with a garden brimming with non-native plants chosen to provide sustenance and habitat for wildlife, with many selections from the RHS Plants for Pollinators list. This was a fairly straightforward endeavour, choosing from specialist grower Hortus Loci’s existing stock. It was the remaining 90% of what was a 600m2 garden that provided plenty of sleepless nights, between drawing up the plant list and opening the garden to show. The ‘wild’, native landscape covering the majority of the garden represented plant communities of the British Isles including the Scottish Highlands, Yorkshire Dales and Moors, woodlands of North Wales, coastal areas and rivers of the south and a nod to the Northern Irish Landscape. A huge operation and

responsibility, not only for Ann-Marie, but for the Hortus Loci team. It was decided that all the plants in the non-gardened areas should be native to encourage gardeners to think about the diversity of plants available to grow in their gardens wherever they are in the UK, thus inspiring them to support our precious wildlife and reconnect with nature. A barley field, complete with tractor, would firmly establish the Countryfile connection. It’s an understatement to say that time was of the essence – most of the specimens would have to be grown from seed to show quality in just three months. Ann-Marie, the Hortus Loci team, and Hortus Loci’s specialist plant propagator Marina Christopher of Phoenix perennials began researching in earnest to form a palette of 100% native plants. The team quickly realised that key specimen trees would anchor the vignettes seen from various

18/10/2018 09:31

Plant list

vistas around the garden which could be viewed around 360°. They visited suppliers far and wide and sourced many wonders including fabulous Crataegus, Fagus sylvatica and Acer campestre specimens. They found plants to represent a farmer’s hedgerow that was so convincing that they were constantly asked during show week if the hedge had always been there at Hampton Court. A unique Salix trunk with a saprophytic Elder bush growing from its dead crown took pride of place next to the pond, whilst in the non-native area of the garden statuesque Heptacodium miconioides and Koelreuteria paniculata took up residence. Finally, on 23 June, Dutch trolley after Dutch trolley arrived in the blistering heat to a site that looked more like the African Savanna than England’s green and pleasant land. The battle was on to keep all 14,000 plants supplied by Hortus Loci, both whilst in their pots, and once

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planted in the ground. The most important job on site quickly became that of chief waterer. With long hours, dedication and a shared love for the project from all the planting team, the Countryfile garden of Ann-Marie’s imagination was made into a reality. On completing the project Ann-Marie said: “It couldn’t have been done without Hortus Loci’s stupendous efforts in going above and beyond the call of duty – they will ever have my eternal thanks.” ABOUT ANN-MARIE POWELL Since 1998, award-winning garden designer Ann-Marie has been building dynamic gardens in the naturalistic style. She is a Society of Garden Designers judge, an RHS designate judge and Garden Selection panel member, and a patron of children’s charity, Greenfingers.

Photographs ©Rachel Warne, Ann-Marie Powell photograph ©Charlie Hopkinson

Matricaria chamomilla

• Acer campestre • Adonis annua • Anthoxanthum odoratum • Anthyllis vulneraria • Arabis hirsuta • Asplenium trichomanes • Blechnum spicant • Briza media • Butomus umbellatus • Carex panicea • Centaurea cyanus • Crataegus monogyna • Deschampsia cespitosa • Draba verna • Dryopteris filix-mas • Erica carnea • Festuca ovina • Galium verum • Geranium pratense • Glaucium flavum • Glebionis segetum • Gymnocarpum dryopteris • Hedera helix ‘hibernica’ • Hieracium pilosella • Hordeum • Ligusticum scoticum • Lychnis flos- culi • Matricaria recutita • Mentha aquatica • Myosotis palustris • Myrrhis odorata • Pilosella officinallis • Pinus sylvestris • Polystichum setiferum • Potentilla erecta • Prunella vulgaris • Ranunculus acris • Rumex acetosa • Salvia pratensis • Sedum acre • Succisa pratensis • Torilis japonica • Trifolium repens • Umbilicus rupestris • Urtica dioica • Vaccinium myrtillus • Vaccinium vitis-idaea • Vicia cracca • Viola tricolor

Pro Landscaper / November 2018 91

18/10/2018 09:31

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With summer at an end Noel Kingsbury reflects on the dry conditions and why we should research and use plants that look good throughout the season


ith a long hot summer behind us, it’s clear that many plants have felt the effects. With what we know about climate change, this kind of summer is likely to become more common. So, what do we know about drought and plants? Annoyingly, not as much as perhaps we should. Research into the drought tolerance of landscape plants has tended to be focused on hotter drier climates, such as the Middle East, where the plant species are not going to be hardy anyway. In the western US there has been much interest in so-called xeriscaping since the 1990s, but surprisingly little hard data on plant tolerance and survival seems to have come out of that. So, in terms of plant selection for future planting, we are rather on our own. A key distinction to make is between the amount of water a plant needs to grow well, and its ability to survive shortages. A plant’s response to drought and ability to recover will vary greatly. Grass, for example browns off quickly but recovers rapidly with some rain, while perennials tend to die back prematurely but emerge again next spring. The damage to woody plants however is far more likely to be severe and may take much longer to show up. It is worth remembering that a great many of the plant species we grow naturally come from much more extreme climates than ours. Given


the right soil conditions, many will regularly survive drought. Drought tolerance depends not just in having the right species but providing them with the conditions in which they can access moisture during dry periods. Many plants – woody ones in particular – survive because their roots are able to penetrate lower, damper layers of soil. Restricted root runs are one of the biggest factors in limiting a plant’s ability to survive. The American xeriscape movement aimed to show that we need to drought-proof our plantings in two ways, through improving soil

structure to hold moisture and through species selection. However, some research has shown a fundamental psychological problem. In a

A PLANTS RESPONSE TO DROUGHT AND ABILITY TO RECOVER WILL VARY GREATLY survey of home owners it was revealed that almost as much irrigation water was used on xeriscaped gardens as on conventional ones. People like their plants to grow well, reasonably fast and to look good. Drought-tolerant plants often look stressed when dry, which nobody wants, so on goes the tap. The lesson seems to be that xeriscaping only works when combined with effective regulation of water availability. In terms of plant selection, we in the UK are lucky that we can grow a wide range of Mediterranean plant material which is hardy enough in our relatively mild winters and is not only drought tolerant but looks acceptable even when stressed. Unfortunately, a lot of the species available are sub-shrubs like lavender and Cistus, which have an inherently short lifespan. They are, however, only the tip of the iceberg as the region’s flora is very rich. Time to turn to Olivier Filippi, a French grower whose book Planting Design for Dry Gardens not only has plenty of sage advice on appropriate irrigation, but also introduces us to a fabulous array of reliable drought tolerant plants, a great many of which should be hardy. We now need the wholesale industry to do some serious innovation and take on some of his suggestions. Pictured: Nigel Dunnett’s planting at The Barbican in central London is a good example of the kind of diverse drought-tolerant planting we may see more of in the future

ABOUT NOEL KINGSBURY Noel Kingsbury has been involved in the horticulture industry since the mid Eighties as a nurseryman, garden designer and writer, with features appearing in The Garden, The Daily Telegraph and Gardens Illustrated. Since the mid Nineties he has played a major role in introducing the British gardening public and the horticulture profession to naturalistic planting with a series of books, four of which he has written with Dutch designer Piet Oudolf.

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©Stars for Europe

Poinsettia The strength of this beautiful Christmas plant lies in the variety of colours, shapes and sizes available, even tiny miniatures – whatever the requirement, poinsettia will have the solution. The white spectrum of poinsettia ranges from softest cream to sharpest white – bracts can also be crinkled, speckled, spotted, marbled or plain, and will provide a dense abundance of



Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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Ian Drummond


Cyclamen Sweet, delicate cyclamen, for too long this dainty little winter plant didn’t get the attention it deserved, but all that has changed now. The strength of cyclamen lies in their miniature perfection – in full flower they are under 20cm, blooming freely for weeks and weeks. The blooms are produced on long stems, held upright above the foliage too, which itself is remarkably pretty, heart-shaped and etched with silver marble on the top sides of the leaves – a ideal visual complement to white. They require little care. Good humidity and bright, indirect light and they’re good to go.

colour and texture. Just remember to buy from a trusted grower, ensuring that the plants aren’t damaged during delivery, water sparingly, and always plant away from draughts and the cold. Do this and the poinsettia will happily dazzle throughout the season.


©Flower Council


t’s the run up to Christmas again and this year I’m most excited about the prominence of white in the schemes we are creating. For me it’s such an elegant and magical festive look, like opening the curtains early in the morning to find the most perfect kind of snowfall. I know some consider a white Christmas palette to be stark, but this winter classic is so adaptable, its neutrality is its greatest seasonal gift – the way it is styled determines the overall look. Combined with natural accessories, planters and decorations – twigs, stone, bark, burnished metals – it is easily transformed into a cosy kind of Scandinavian style. Alternatively, there’s a different kind of white decorative scheme that’s anything but homely. Because white, when combined with the right elements, can dazzle like nothing else. With this look you can go all out with the decorations, think glass, diamond iridescence and ice-like sparkle – so right for Christmas events. There are any number of plants suitable for a white scheme, and here are few favourites:


©Flower Council

With the festive season just around the corner, Ian Drummond explains how white can look just right in your indoor planting schemes

Amaryllis With its natural height, trumpet-like blooms and strappy leaves, the amaryllis is always going to bring the right kind of drama to any Christmas display. These striking plants have tall flower spires, ranging in height from 30cm to 60cm with blooms almost disproportionately large for the stem beneath them. They are however surprisingly sturdy, very unlikely to topple over and with sufficient natural light will joyfully flower throughout the festive weeks.

Rosemary No winter-season flowers here, but let’s not forget their suitability for topiary – cut into miniature pyramidal tree shapes and with their powerful fragrance (so often lacking in real pine trees), they bring something unique to the Christmas party. Miniature Rosemary trees provide a deep, rich, textured evergreen to accompany stylish white. ABOUT INDOOR GARDEN DESIGN Established in 1975, Indoor Garden Design is a multi-award winning company at the forefront of contemporary interior and exterior horticultural design, transforming workspaces, offices, hotels and restaurants, and bringing events to life. Ian Drummond is creative director.

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17/10/2018 14:28


Evergreens can bring interest and colour to any garden. Andy McIndoe explores the different varieties that shine in winter


n evergreen hedge is a long-term feature of the garden that should enhance, provide structure and have year-round appeal. Sadly, hedging plants are often seen as cheap landscape subjects, planted with little thought, attention to detail and respect. Evergreen hedging plants are not native hedging whips, but rather valuable ornamentals with great potential. Choose the right subject for the situation, buy good stock, plant well, at the right spacing and care for them until established and the finished result will be a feature.


Euonymus japonicus ‘Green Spire’

Thuja plicata Western red cedar, an aromatic conifer with sprays of emerald green, shining foliage, makes a handsome hedge, ideal as a tall screen. It is tolerant to most soils, including chalk. Plant 90cm (3ft) apart. Rootball or pot grown.

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata English yew is a versatile plant whose dark green foliage makes a dense, dramatic backdrop for planting. Ideal for large screens, or can be kept low and formal. Grows well on most well-drained soils and loves alkaline conditions. Plant 75-90cm (3ft) apart. Rootball.

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Euonymus japonicus ‘Green Spire’ Compact and upright with deep green, shiny foliage, ‘Green Spire’ works well in restricted spaces where a narrow hedge is needed. It is ideal as low dividing or boundary hedge and is good on dry soil and for coastal situations. Plant 60-75cm (2ft-30ins) apart. Pot grown. Pittosporum tenuifolium Small, bright shiny leaves on fine stems make it perfect for a looser hedge on well-drained soil. It grows quickly but dislikes cold, wet conditions, and is good by the coast. Plant 75-90cm (3ft) apart. Use pot grown stock.

Pittosporum tenuifolium


Thuja plicata ‘Atrovirens’

Griselinia littoralis A bright evergreen with leathery leaves, it grows quickly and makes a dense hedge. Griselinia does not like severe cold or alkaline soil, but it is excellent for coastal gardens and is wind tolerant. Plant 60-90cm apart (2-3ft). Pot grown.

disfigured by a hedge trimmer and it can take up a lot of space. Often discoloured and sulky on chalk. Plant 90cm (3ft) apart. Rootball.

Prunus lusitanica Portuguese laurel. Deep green leaves with red stalks carried on a dense bushy shrub. Slower growing than cherry laurel but better looking and makes a beautiful hedge. It is good on most soils, likes chalk and is shade tolerant. Plant 75-90cm (3ft) apart. Rootball.

Griselinia littoralis

Container grown plants are a good choice if planting young stock, also for some subjects that give better results when grown in pots. From November until March rootballed stock of coniferous and some evergreen plants such as yew, thuja and laurel is a better option. In the open ground plants branch well and produce bushy, healthy growth. Lifted, rootballed and transplanted in winter they produce a mature hedge almost immediately. Always handle rootballed plants with care as damage can result in expensive failures. Leave hessian in place when planting and use mycorrhizal fungi to aid establishment. Consider the proportions of a mature specimen – 60cm apart (centre to centre) is an absolute minimum. 90cm apart is a good guide to follow. Here are a few of the best:

Prunus lusitanica ‘Angustifolia’

Prunus laurocerasus

Prunus laurocerasus Cherry laurel grows quickly and produces a broad, bushy hedge. The large leaves are

Andy McIndoe is a practical horticulturist with more than 30 years’ experience in ornamental horticulture. He has designed and advised on gardens of all sizes and has been responsible for 25 Gold medal winning exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Twitter: @AndyMcIndoe

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Jamie Butterworth shares his recent experince of mountain climbing and the various plants he discovered along the way


t’s all too easy sometimes to forget that the UK is not the natural home for many of the plants that we are so used to growing and specifying. Our unique climate makes our small island the ideal place to grow many different plants and trees that originate from across the world. We really are remarkably lucky with the conditions we have and the range of plants from which we can choose. However, to best understand how to grow a plant, and where to position it, you must understand fully where the plant first originates from. This encompasses many of the details you would need to know and tells you a lot about what the plant likes and doesn’t like.

Larix Woodland

Last month myself and a team from London Stone climbed Gran Paradiso, the tallest mountain in Italy, standing at 4,061m tall, it dwarfs any of our native UK mountains. For


FROM HOME Jamie Butterworth

don’t mind being exposed to the elements. As we approached 2,600m altitude, the air became noticeably thinner, the climb was slightly tougher, and the weather suddenly got a lot cooler. It was at this stage that I saw an obvious lack plants and flora, anything growing past this point was surely a truly courageous pioneer, and as tough as plants come. Consisting of just the occasional pine and ropey tufts of grass, there wasn’t much to report back from this section.

habitat, and a brilliant way to see how the plants naturally grow and spread. The ascent started through a dense Larix woodland, with many tall trees growing clustered tightly together to create a dense canopy with just some dappled sunlight making its way through to the woodland floor. The ground was home to many small ferns, mosses, tufts of low growing grasses and the occasional Epilobium where light managed to break through.

WE REALLY ARE REMARKABLY LUCKY WITH THE CONDITIONS WE HAVE AND THE RANGE OF PLANTS FROM WHICH WE CAN CHOOSE perspective, Ben Nevis is 1,345m tall. We did so to raise money for Duchenne, a charity fighting to find a cure to bring an end to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy within the next ten years. Despite the arduous and technically difficult climb, I couldn’t help but stop to admire and investigate the flora of the mountain side. A unique opportunity for a plantsman like myself to see plants growing in their natural 98

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Vaccinium myrtillus

Scrub and scree layer

Beyond this point came the ice, snow, and rocks. I suddenly lost any plants to be able to distract myself with and began to realise I was in fact over looking most surrounding mountains. An incredible and invigorating experience. If you do ever get the opportunity to see plants growing in their natural habitat, do. It is a brilliant way to learn and develop your planting portfolio and skills. Plus, it’s a great excuse for a short break away.

Carlina Acaulis

ABOUT JAMIE BUTTERWORTH As the tree layer began to clear, we emerged through into a shrub layer. Plants in this area included many low, groundcover hardy shrubs such as Azalea and Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), a beautiful plant with sublime autumnal foliage and delicious blueberry-like fruits. The landscape massively opens here, so any plants growing here are very tough and

Graduating from RHS Garden Wisley with a Distinction in summer 2015, avid plantsman and RHS Ambassador Jamie now works as a horticultural consultant for London Stone, having spent the last two years growing plants for the world’s top designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Hortus Loci.

18/10/2018 16:27

Trovia provides a bespoke consultancy led service aimed at designers, landscapers and architects. We offer Italian porcelain products curated to bring beauty, colour, texture and practicality to a wide range of external and internal settings. Trovia is a wholly owned division of the Global Stone family.


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Jeff Stephenson explains that the seasonal work carried out in November makes it the busiest time of year for his team


aring for a plethora of gardens, each with diverse styles, dictates that my horticultural team are kept busy throughout the year. However, there are key months when our workload escalates, November is one such occasion.


Jeff Stephenson Senescense in all it’s splendour

Leaf Drop The fall of senescent leaves best defines this season, with gardeners expending enormous efforts to round them up into piles only to have ill-timed gusts of wind scatter them again. Keeping low growing herbaceous plants, evergreen hedges and lawns clear of leaves is critical to prevent dead patches. But, unless a disease such as rust is present (which overwinters as thick walled teliospores on fallen leaves), shrub borders wgreatly benefit from allowing foliage to decompose naturally and recycle nutrients. However, this is rarely acceptable in townhouses, whose tidy-minded owners relish reporting on clustered detritus, previously hidden in the garden’s dark recesses. Large country gardens can be more accommodating in this respect. Ideally all arisings are composted or separated and bagged to make leaf mould, but often smaller gardens lack such facilities. Ponds should be netted and regularly cleared of leaves to prevent watercourses and pumps blocking, and to limit depletion of

Irrigation Before temperatures plummet, shut the system down or else freezing water will damage valves and manifolds. I leave green walls and exposed roof terraces as late as possible to curtail desiccation.

Bulbs November is ideal for planting Tulip bulbs – other hardy spring/summer flowering bulbs should

Last chance for planting tulips

really have been planted already. A cautionary note here is awareness of grey squirrels who have a penchant for them. Firming in well and clearing arising bulb debris helps. Where possible it’s advisable to cover areas in chicken wire, particularly over pots, until leaves emerge.

A seasonal necessity

oxygen levels through bacterial decay. In wildlife ponds a balanced proportion of leaves are beneficial for microorganisms and invertebrates.

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Pruning Formative pruning can take place now as leaves drop on deciduous trees and shrubs and overall structures are again visible. Some woody specimens such as Buddleja, Lavatera and taller roses, specifically require pruning down by one third to prevent wind rock during the winter. Climbing roses should ideally be completed by now but the realities of time constraints with weekly visits push this task back.

Paved surfaces There are two occasions in the year when algae and moss build up is most prevalent, November. is one. Some proprietary algicides are less effective as temperatures drop below 10°C, so mechanical removal by brush or pressure washer becomes necessary. This also helps remove imprints of leaves left on pale surfaces by tannins and other organic leachates. Use caution when using pressure washers. High-powered jets will cause excessive degradation of the mineral surfaces, opening pores and destroying weaker mortars. Ensure pressures are lowered and jets aren’t too close to surfaces – better still, invest in a specialist hard surface cleaning attachment (such as the Kärcher FR 30) which delivers unified controlled results. Herbaceous borders Now is a great time to reorganise beds as plants become dormant but are still visible. Dahlias and Cannas get lifted and stored. Where aesthetically appropriate, I prefer to leave dry flower heads and skeletal stems uncut to perpetuate autumnal displays. ABOUT JEFF STEPHENSON With more than 29 years’ experience in horticulture, Jeff Stephenson (Dip.Hort. (Kew) Hons MCIHort) heads up the horticulture and aftercare division of Bowles & Wyer. He joined in 1996 and has worked on small installations, soft landscaping and gardens maintenance for the vast majority of their schemes.

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Tree Planting

Green-tech Bio Spiral Tree Guards Price: from 21p In response to the growing desire to reduce the use of standard plastics, Green-tech is now supplying a new environmentally friendly, weed and erosion control range of planting essentials which include Bio Spiral Tree Guards and vole guards. These are 100% biodegradable and are available in a different range of heights and diameters.


Platipus Platipus D-MAN® Anchoring System Price: POA The D-MAN® is suitable for urban planting where underground services are a concern, and is ideal for securing trees on roof gardens and podiums. It comprises of strong, compact and lightweight cells. Each cell incorporates four unique cups that can store valuable water essential for tree growth and root development. In addition, cells can be easily connected and stacked to build up and protect large planting areas providing additional structural support. With this system, trees and large shrubs can be secured in any location and catchment water can drain underneath leaving the balance of water in the cups.

GreenBlue Urban ArborSystem® Price: POA

TreePan recently launched in the UK, a product designed to protect and nurture new trees. TreePans are placed around new trees to keep mowers and strimmers away, their design naturally kills off weed and grass competition without the need to mulch or apply chemicals. TreePans direct water towards the roots of trees, and act as a minigreenhouse to reduce evaporative loss from the soil. TreePans are designed to grow with your tree, once your tree is established unclip and use on the next tree.

Founded in 1992, Greenblue Urban was set up to research and provide solutions for assisting trees in their battle to establish in urban spaces. Onsite manufacturing using 100% recycled materials allows global distribution. This, along with continuous product development, ensures that specifiers and clients alike are using the best tree pit package products available in the world. The GreenBlue Urban Arborsystem brings together the key elements of successful tree pit design and simplifies the planning and installation process. Landscape professionals can combine SUDS, root management, structural soil components, aeration, irrigation and chose an appropriate above ground surface grille and vertical guard in a single package.




TreePan TreePan Price: £65.00 a TreePan or £75.00 with slow release water trays

102 Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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NURSERY VISIT Just 20km from Florence, in the heart of Pistoia, Italy, Covili Franco Vivai Piante is a nursery and grower offering a wide variety of plants that can be shipped worldwide


Founded in 1970 by Franco Covili, the nursery represents the love of the land, great dedication and a passion for growing – all of which have been at the core of the business since the beginning. The vast range of quality plants and the various services offered on site have led to increased business in the foreign market. Sales manager Gina W. Covili tells us that new and existing clients visit the premises all year round, and appreciate the company’s strong values outlined in their slogan – convenience, quality and service. The cultivation of ornamental plants is embroidered into Pistoia’s tradition and heritage, with some naming it the capital of plants and an area where industry professionals flock to view and select quality plants.

Mediterranean plants, deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, pleached espaliers, bamboos, Japanese maples, olives, citrus, exotics, topiary, conifers, hedging, climbers, palms, fruit trees, ferns, grasses, perennials, bonsai and specimens. All the above plants are cultivated in different varieties, species, shapes, and sizes grown in container from 3L up to 1500L as well

as in open fields. The range of plants is constantly increasing to keep up with the latest trends in plant specification, and to meet the needs of the company’s growing client base of wholesalers, designers, architects, nurseries, landscapers and garden centres. The team encourage professionals to visit the site all year round to view the vast selection on offer. At the nursery, friendly and professional staff can guide

and advise clients to suit their requirements. For clients unable to visit the nursery in person, the team is on hand to help by sending images and quotes. Covili Franco Vivai Piante prides itself on working closely with customers and following the process from purchase to delivery. Starting with prompt confirmation of orders, they then select the best quality plants, clean them, pack them with nets, colour label them to distinguish each customer and place them onto metal palettes. At this point they are watered and moved to the final phase of loading. They have a specialised team for loading, who ensure that it is done carefully and that your purchase travels safely to its destination, arriving in perfect condition. CONTACT

Pistoia’s location – an alluvial plane with rich, humid and fertile soil – and climate are favourable for the fast growth of ornamental plants. The soil, composed of lime, clay and sand is Pistoia’s speciality, perfect for cultivation and lifting, and resistant to manipulation. Covili Franco Vivai Piante selling lines are:

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Covili Franco Vivai Piante Via Casella di Santomato, 2/A 51100 Pistoia, Italy Contact Mrs Gina W Covili (Sales Director) Tel +39 0573 479981/+39 0573 478014 Mobile +39 329 8122268 Email

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WINNER PROFILE This month we catch up with Ground Control, winner in the Commercial Landscape Company category

Ground Control

Winner: Commercial Landscape Company (sponsored by Green-tech )


round Control is one of the UK’s leading privately-owned commercial landscape solution providers. It secured this status further when it was announced as the winner of the commercial landscape company category at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards earlier this year. Ground Control was originally established in 1973 as a grounds maintenance provider, and following a management buyout in 2004, it diversified its services and the sectors it worked within. In 2010 the company acquired Vale Contract Services in an attempt to move into the public domain, working for housing associations, education, emergency services, councils and more. Ground Control acquired Survey Roofing Group in 2015 adding roofing to its array of services, and in 2017 bought out Litter Boss to become the UK’s largest winter maintenance provider.

Ground Control offers a nationwide service that includes grounds maintenance, soft and hard landscaping, landscape design, winter maintenance, fencing, tree works, ecology, pest control, pothole repairs and electric vehicle ChargePoint installations. It holds significant buying power, has a unique relationship with many of the industry’s leading suppliers and has a large and diverse supply chain. This includes key suppliers, subcontractors, specialist contractors and consultants, and unique relationships with the

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WE WERE THRILLED TO BE RECOGNISED AS COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPE COMPANY OF THE YEAR, FROM SUCH A PRESTIGIOUS PUBLICATION FOR OUR INDUSTRY. TO BE RECOGNISED IN THIS WAY AS A LEADING COMPANY IS TRULY AN HONOUR, SHOWCASING THE TREMENDOUS HARD WORK OF OUR TEAM AND THE HIGH QUALITY WE DELIVER TO OUR CUSTOMERS EVERY DAY MARCUS WATSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR industry’s leading experts and specifiers. The judges of the Pro Landscaper Business Awards were impressed with Ground Control’s staff development and training and its strong client retention rates. One judge commented that Ground Control is: “strong, stable and committed to ongoing developments, and its rapid growth is backed up by firm commitment to high quality service levels. Exciting developments lie ahead to

further consolidate and stride forward.” Whilst another judge commented on the: “strong charitable commitment” and:“solid involvement in industry initiatives”. Ground Control’s staff are some of the leading experts and managers in landscaping, delivering award-winning projects and consulting on relevant EU legislation. Ground Control is a multi-award winner for its delivery of high quality work, a robust health and safety system, innovation and being an excellent employer. This outstanding service has assured the business over 99.2% annual client site retention each year. It is the contractor of choice for many well-known public and private organisations. The very first contract that Ground Control was entrusted with was providing grounds maintenance to several Tesco stores and this has now grown into hundreds of Tesco’s stores and many other large clients such as the NHS, Sainsbury’s and Travelodge.

Pro Landscaper / November 2018 109

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OUTDOOR FAMILY ROOMS With extra space being sought by home owners Sean Butler considers adding the construction of outdoor rooms to your business offering Stretching your limitations should always be encouraged. If your teams have the skill set and are good problem solvers, why not add another string to your bow and have the confidence to offer your potential clients the construction of outdoor rooms. There are many companies out there specialising in this product and service but why let others profit when you have the ready-made talent in your own teams? Being adaptable to challenges is what makes you stand out from the crowd. If you can answer yes to all the following questions, there is no reason why you can’t build outdoor rooms. 1. Does your team lay concrete bases? 2. Does your team erect cedar slatting? 3. Have you built timber framed pergolas and gazebos? 4. Have you built bespoke ponds with welded rubber liners?

If you’re a fan of Grand Designs you will often witness self-builders executing the most incredible buildings with amazing results. Many of these people have no experience whatsoever, so with that mind set and your experience, why not offer this service to your clients? Having the right tools, basic skills and a can-do attitude is all it takes. I can hear the professionals getting annoyed here, and I am not saying it’s easy, but it is doable. There are many things to consider: 1. Ground conditions 2. Purpose of building – gym, office, chill out room. 3. Services, electrics, plumbing, internet, alarm system. 4. Budget – circa £15,000-£60,000 5. The height must not exceed 3.9m and the footprint must not exceed 30m2 to avoid having to get planning permission. If you do some research, you will get an idea of what the professionals charge. Do not undermine the value of these buildings by undercutting others. The profit is to be gained both financially and in the portfolio of services that make you stand out from the crowd.

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Read next month’s issue for part two of this series, where Sean shares his how-to guide on building outdoor rooms. ABOUT SEAN BUTLER Sean Butler is a landscape designer and director of Cube 1994. With a background in civil engineering, Sean has an in-depth understanding of the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built landscape.

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18/10/2018 14:47



A domestic garden in London Taking a real-life case study, Sam Hassall shows how having a cost consultant look over a project can produce major cost savings for the client The call came in via a recommendation from landscape architects The terra firma Consultancy on the project. The client is a domestic property owner carrying out a major refurbishment to a three-storey domestic property for his family in an environmentally sensitive London suburb. As part of his upgrade he naturally wished to have a modern garden and outdoor living areas for his young family. The garden is in a conservation area and has some listed elements as part of the existing garden. He had approached a star designer and received a design fee. He had accepted the design fee and was at the stage of a fully formed landscape implementation quotation which the garden designer’s preferred contractor had produced, and had been included as part of the designer’s submission.

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His enquiry to us was for a reality check on the construction cost figures, and while it seemed he was not averse to spending the required money quoted, he just wanted a second opinion.

Original Values: Design Fees:

Very high

Construction Cost:



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We suggested to him that we evaluate some key rates and proposed one hour of consultancy with us in order to return an evaluation – he agreed to this. We returned the following key rates to him within a few days. These are just a sample of the rates we found to be high. We must point out that some of the rates in the schedule were reasonable.

Muck away


Topsoil supply




Box planting 2 x / m²


Herbaceous planting


Standard metal edging



One of the points in the star designer’s construction tender was a line item for nursery plant selection and travel of £7,500, including business class travel and five-star hotels. Following this, a decision was made to terminate the garden designer’s input and engage the well-known landscape architects terra firma who would continue to develop the design for construction and provide the appropriate level of supervision to deliver the garden to the clients’ quality requirements. We produced a new schedule of quantities which was subsequently sent out to three reputable BALI and APL contractors to tender on, and in due course the tenders were received with a bid range of 26% initially – however the company with the higher tender had allowed additional suggested items which, when rationalised, produced a final tender report showing a spread of 18% between the bottom and top bids. The lowest bid was deemed to be somewhat low and we went back to this bidder and explained that they could withdraw or stand by their bid, but they could not

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change their pricing. We made every effort to show them their highs and lows. The contractor confirmed that it wished to be awarded the work as per their tender submission. The final award of the contract was made in May 2018 with the works starting in July on a six month contract. The final result was that on a like-for-like basis the awarded contract, versus the original designer’s preferred quotation, a major saving was made for the client on the landscape implementation cost. The works are well underway now and whilst the contractor has been awarded a number of profitable extras, the client will still achieve a substantial saving and a fantastic garden to his exact expectations. The client is having the design and specification delivered as envisaged by the garden designer but with a saving of 55% on the original cost. There are some fees coming out of this but they should amount to no more than 5% of the original build budget. The contractor should make a decent profit, although mostly based on extra works he has picked up since the contract was awarded.


ABOUT SAM HASSALL Sam Hassall is the UK’s only dedicated specialist landscape cost consultant. As managing director of LandPRO Ltd, his range of services include providing cost and implementation information to landscape design professionals and contractors. Sam’s expertise are gained from his formal training, and many years of experience in the landscape industry. Sam also compiles the Spon’s External works and Landscape price book, and developed the market leading LiberRATE Estimating system. Tel: 01252 795030

Pro Landscaper / November 2018 113

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18/10/2018 10:21


THE PRACTICAL SIDE OF DESIGN Josh Noakes looks back on his experiences working as a commercial landscape contractor and notes on how this has helped to shape his education to date “Landscape design is not easy” is a statement that has stuck with me since my first landscape design class back in 2009. Whilst it may hold some truth, why does the process of design have to be daunting? Could more be done within current landscape design curriculums to help diversify and inspire the next generation of landscape designers? As a recent graduate, I have experienced both garden and landscape architecture design courses. Whilst both have their merits, I feel a practical element is missing within both design curriculums. Prior to my academic career, I worked as a commercial landscape contractor. This experience was vital and gave me invaluable practical and design knowledge which textbooks simply could not give. In my view, practical work experience gives you necessary hands-on experience and can also help to shape and dictate your own career or design path. Designers need to be creative, show flair or have an inventive eye – any teacher or textbook will tell you this. Practical work experience can’t teach you the skills you need in order to design. You can’t learn the conceptual knowledge or intricacies that you are taught and you certainly can’t learn the computer software required within

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modern day design studios. However, it does excel in some areas in which textbooks and lectures simply can’t.

MY PASSION DEVELOPED FROM WORKING PHYSICALLY WITH PLANTS AND SOILS Firstly, and fundamentally, any designer needs to know how things are constructed or put together. Is there any better way to understand this than by building it yourself? Once you have constructed a set of steps you know how the elements are correctly put together so when it comes to detailing you will be more likely to understand the complexity. You also begin to understand the practicalities of design, limitations of physical materials and future maintenance aspects. It baffles me that some design students can leave their respected courses without even picking up a brick or laying a simple slab. It helps to create a more grounded and detailed designer. Secondly, and most importantly, without my time spent working practically I wouldn’t have been able to identify or develop my passion towards flora and planting design. My passion developed from working physically with plants and soils. I began to observe how texture, colours and plants can be combined within

unique ways and this really inspired me. This is something that is difficult to visualise sitting in a classroom. This is the same with hard landscaping and construction and the use of materials within a design. Without practical experience, how can students understand the use of different materials to create contrasting textures? This raises the question, should a practical element be incorporated within our current landscape design curriculums? I’d say yes! For students who are more practical-minded, the ability to learn from practical experiences would be hugely beneficial. However, this does have its limitations in terms of the intricacies of design knowledge, but its ability to inspire and direct future design paths is a strong positive and more should be done to enhance the practical side of design.

ABOUT JOSH NOAKES Joshua Noakes is a Landscape Architect for Fabrik Landscape Architects. He was one of the inaugural 30 Under 30’s, a 2015 BALI Chalk Fund winner and recent University of Sheffield Landscape Architecture Graduate. Share your thoughts with Josh at: @LandscapeJosh

Pro Landscaper / November 2018 115

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With machinery being a costly outlay for a business, Angus Lindsay stresses the importance of attending dealer open days where you can try out what’s on offer In a world where trade shows have all but moved indoors it was a refreshing change to attend an outdoor show, where the equipment was there to be seen and used. This was the case at RT Machinery’s open day held in early September on a still glorious summer’s day. There was something of a feel of the old days of Saltex to the day, with people milling about and getting to grips with equipment first hand, able to watch machines operate in the environments in which they were designed to. This is not the only dealer-led event happening around the country. Many have organised informal open days where customers and suppliers alike can get together and see what’s new over a cup of coffee and a bacon roll. Crucially, they can see equipment operating and try it themselves before deciding whether or not to go for a demonstration in their own environment. This helps keep costs down for both parties as it isn’t cheap to move machines around, especially if the supplier turns up to do a demo and it isn’t what the customer wants.

Equipment on hand to try out and discuss on real grass

With the number of large working demonstrations on the decline – I can only think of the APF show, Hillhead and a couple of agricultural events – these dealer-led days serve as a crucial link between supplier and end user and also those looking to come into the industry. Wandering round an exhibition hall where the only equipment movement is on a television 116 Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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TRY BEFORE YOU BUY screen is all well and good and great for networking, but as our industry changes and challenges present themselves we find that a lot of the past experience and know-how has moved on or retired. New people enter the arena who have little or no experience with the equipment used and who, in the rarefied

THESE DEALER-LED DAYS SERVE AS A CRUCIAL LINK BETWEEN SUPPLIER AND END USER AND ALSO THOSE LOOKING TO COME INTO THE INDUSTRY atmosphere of a large exhibition, can soon become overwhelmed with the options available and make decisions without fully understanding. As we enter the final quarter of the year we see some larger local authorities taking work back in-house having had several years of outsourcing, with constraints on budgets and politics now seeing them change tack. Some of these contracts have been externalised for nearly 20 years and many of the original staff have left or long since retired, both within the operational side and the client side. It is true that TUPE will see the existing workforce transfer over, but what of the backroom staff who support the local operation? That skill, knowledge and experience doesn’t transfer, leaving the authority with a bit of a dilemma.

The local suppliers and some manufacturers will be on hand to assist the procurement team in what they need. Alternatively, there are national hire companies who are all also willing to address all their requirements, from desk fans to dumper trucks, all new and fully maintained – but in reality this doesn’t always work and there can be significant hidden costs at the end of the term when equipment is off-hired. Like all of us, those in procurement are under pressure to get the best deal with limited resources. In the local authority situation, this can mean procuring anything from school desks to wheelie bins, so what chance do they stand of knowing the difference between a hustler and a sidewinder? Attending an exhibition is all well and good but they could gain so much more by visiting dealer open days where, with people from the operational side, they could gain so much more of an understanding as to what they are buying and even get a chance to see the kit in action. ABOUT ANGUS LINDSAY Angus spent several years working on arable farms in Scotland before joining VSO in Egypt, implementing a mechanisation programme, managing field operations for a commercial cotton plantation in Nigeria and working as a contract instructor for Massey Ferguson in Yemen. He gained an MSc in agricultural engineering and mechanisation management at Silsoe, joining Glendale as machinery manager in 1994, and then idverde UK in 2009 as group head of assets and fleet. Contact:

17/10/2018 16:47

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Aldgate Tower terrace, Aecom – WoodBlocX Seating Location Aldgate Tower, London Street furniture used McDui Planter Bench and Box seating

WoodBlocX was tasked with creating a seating option for the Aecom breakout space at Aldgate Tower. A natural finish was required, and the WoodBlocX McDui Planter Bench provided a great solution. Smaller bespoke cube seats complimented the main seating to give the staff flexibility to move the furniture within their space. WWW.WOODBLOCX.CO.UK


Times Square + Snøhetta + Vestre Location: Times Square in New York City Street furniture used: Vestre’s April Go series, designed by Snøhetta

Times Square has over 460,000 visitors each day. In 2010, The Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta redesigned the space and furnished the plaza with Vestre’s series April Go. The benches, made out of wood and metal, are of different heights, creating a sanctuary for visitors. As testament to its success, within moments of being on site the furniture was being used like it had always been part of the environment. WWW.VESTRE.COM



Gasholder Park and luxury apartments are welcoming and dynamic. Rough&Ready Big Green Benches combine weathering steel borders with Rough&Ready seating. The Rough&Ready Top Seating continues the combination of seating and greenery in the park. The slats are mounted in a steel comb with the Streetlock® fixture semi-integrated in the granite surfaces. The front of the apartment buildings used street furniture from the Solid Series along with bespoke Curved Solitude Benches. WWW.STREETLIFE.NL/EN

Marshalls, the UK’s leading hard landscaping manufacturer, has partnered with Northamptonshire Police to help secure its new headquarters in Kettering. The new Northern Accommodation Building has been developed to replace the outdated police stations in Kettering and Corby and provides modern, fit-for-purpose custody facilities and office accommodation to better support operational policing in the north of the county. The full range of products help protect public spaces while also fitting seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. WWW.MARSHALLS.CO.UK

Gasholder project, King’s Cross Location King’s Cross, London Street furniture used Rough&Ready collection and Solid Series

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Northamptonshire Police Location Kettering Street furniture used A range of products from Marshalls’ Landscape Protection portfolio, including Geo bollards and seating, a Pluto cycle shelter and bespoke concrete planters.

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utureScape is the UK’s number one landscaping event offering something for everyone. Whether you’re a landscaper, garden designer, landscape architect or grounds maintenance contractor, there will be plenty of educational and inspirational information you can take away and apply directly to your business. FutureScape is also a fantastic networking opportunity offering you the chance to meet potential new clients, employees or employers as well as reconnecting with some old faces. This year FutureScape has a fantastic seminar programme offering topics such as: Plants – Plant disease affects us all; Recruitment – the good, the bad and the very ugly; The digital world, hype or a valuable tool?; and many more. Also, this year adds an exlusive feature not to be missed, One to One: a live on-stage interview where horticulturist Jamie Butterworth will direct questions to renowned garden designer Cleve West. Not only does FutureScape offer a fantastic seminar programme, but also a wide range of exhibitors to visit throughout the day, including: CED Stone Group, EasiGrass, Crowders, Green Blue Urban, Makita, Lighting for Gardens and many more.

Register now for your ticket When Tuesday 20 November 2018 Where Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9AJ Time 9am Cost Free Getting There Esher railway station is a 10-minute walk from Sandown Park Racecourse. Easy to reach by car from the A307 Portsmouth Road and the venue has ample free parking

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It’s been another fast and furious year for Bourne Amenity. As well as its continued commitment to innovation it has launched two more SuDS soil blends to keep pace with its clients' demands. As the Bourne Group moves into its 72nd year of trading, it welcomes the chance to meet up with the industry's finest at Futurescape. It takes up its usual spot in the heart of the show and will be showcasing its new range of podium planting soils, alongside the usual range of high-quality topsoil’s and substrates. WWW.BOURNEAMENITY.CO.UK




Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates is the manufacturer of DALTEX aggregates – the number one choice for resin bound and bonded installations. It manufactures the highest quality DALTEX dried aggregates which when combined with DALTEX UV resin help deliver beautiful, consistent results for residential and commercial areas such as driveways, paths and patios. It also provides decorative aggregates for the landscaping industry. WWW.DERBYSHIREAGGREGATES.COM

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CED Stone Group is proud to be a lead sponsor of FutureScape 2018. It is one of the UK's leading suppliers of natural stone and hard landscaping products and keeps extensive stock across its six nationwide depots. It has the largest range of high-quality materials and can offer expert advice. CED Stone Group’s stand will be positioned in the centre of Surrey Hall and will showcase a variety of paving and TIER walling products. The team will help you find the perfect products for your project. WWW.CEDSTONE.CO.UK




RHS award-winning artificial grass supply and installation company Easigrass will be showcasing the latest in synthetic turf and floral design innovation at Futurescape. The Easigrass dedicated show area will feature a full range of natural-look grass products, as well as the highly acclaimed Easi-Animal, Easi-Gazebee and Easi-Wall designs. Discuss bespoke commercial and domestic projects with the team and discover how the brand’s premium quality range can transform any outdoor space. WWW.EASIGRASS.COM




With over 130 solid years of manufacturing excellence, Chapin is proud to provide market-leading products that are rugged and reliable. Whether you are managing golf courses or spraying and spreading on a commercial basis, Chapin covers the full range with sprayers and spreaders designed for industrial and general purpose herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers to keep your lawn and garden well maintained, pest-free and your harvest healthy. WWW.CHAPINMFG.COM




From 50mm to 1,000mm high, EverEdge’s tough steel edging systems and planters come in a range of styles, sizes and finishes for any landscaping project. British designed and built, EverEdge works closely with architects, designers and contractors to help you build beautiful landscape projects.


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Glendale take the fuss out of managing green spaces, its team are skilled designers and suppliers of grounds maintenance, tree management, landscaping and woodland services. Glendale is now delighted to introduce EPD (Environment, Planning and Design), its team of chartered landscape architects and planners, experts in developing imaginative and practical solutions for a sustainable and inspiring outdoor green space. Visit them on stands 101 to 103 to discuss your next design, build or project. WWW.GLENDALE-SERVICES.CO.UK




How Green Nursery is a family run business supplying to landscapers and garden designers across London and the South-East since 1982. As a purely wholesale nursery How Green provides a wide selection of home-grown perennials supplemented by high-quality shrubs, topiary, hedging and trees sourced from reputable suppliers in the UK and Europe. With good value, dependable plants How Green Nursery is a one-stop shop for leading garden designers. WWW.HOWGREENNURSERY.CO.UK

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Global Stone is an industry leading supplier of natural stone and porcelain paving. Its paving is selected by hand to ensure the highest quality. Located on Stand 146, Global Stone introduces Trovia, a solely owned division of the Global Stone family, offering a range of porcelain products, curated to bring beauty, balance and practicality to a wide range of settings. On its stand they will be exhibiting the best of natural stone and porcelain paving, showcasing it’s beautiful Terrazzo. WWW.GLOBALSTONEPAVING.CO.UK




Makita UK will be returning to FutureScape this year on stands 132-133. The Makita stand will showcase the ever-growing garden machinery range suitable for professional landscaping contractors, groundsmen and forestry workers. There will be a focus on the expanding cordless range, but visitors will be able to learn about the entire collection including petrol and electric models.





Haddonstone is the UK’s leading manufacturer of fine quality, hand crafted garden ornaments suitable for traditional, classical and contemporary landscapes. Haddonstone will be making its debut at FutureScape this year and will be exhibiting the new Large Heritage Planter alongside the Clarence Urn and Elizabethan Plinth. Visit Haddonstone on Stand 149.





Since 2012 Rivelin has been crafting luxury outdoor gas fire tables. Awarded the Manufacturing Guild Mark in 2018, Rivelin is renowned for quality and craftsmanship and continues to work with award-winning designers and landscapers around the world. Visit stand No 64 to see its exciting new hidden gas bottle models which combine modern technology, innovative design and plug and play installation.


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As exclusive UK distributors of ÖÖD Houses, Round Wood of Mayfield will be providing details on the stunning mirrored buildings at FutureScape. ÖÖD Houses blend beautifully into any setting courtesy of the insulated glazing that covers the front and side elevations. The rear elevation features eco-friendly thermo treated ash cladding. ÖÖD Rooms. Round Wood will also be displaying other products including decking, cladding and home and garden features. WWW.ROUNDWOOD.COM

122 Pro Landscaper / November 2018

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Stone effect spheres by day and globe lights by night. Stone Globe Lights are available in several sizes and colour finishes to match your landscaping schemes. Exhibiting on Stand 165 in the Esher Hall come and see how indistinguishable they are from stone, and why they were a finalist in the SGD Product of the Year Award. IP65, non-corrosive, UV and frost resistant.





With over 30 years' experience sourcing garden planters, The Pot Company works with the best manufacturers to ensure its products not only look good but are of the highest quality. The Pot Company offers a wide range of materials and sizes with the smallest diameter at 9cm and the largest as standard at 230cm. It also supplies bespoke items in aluminium, Corten steel, galvanised steel and fibreglass. The stand will feature an aluminium water feature, glazed ornamental planters, and edging. WWW.THEPOTCO.COM

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WHAT I’M READING Daniel Shea, Daniel Shea Garden Design

DANIEL SHEA Title John Brookes Garden Design Author John Brookes My favourite book is one that has been with me for a long time, John Brookes Garden Design. I first bought this book when beginning my studies at Capel Manor, Regents Park. It was strongly recommended to me by my tutors and along with their tuition, I learnt the basics of modern garden design. In the book, it is explained so simply and thoroughly that only a man with John’s experience could write it. I still use his principles of garden design to this day.

since inspired the common term ‘outdoor room’, a philosophy that recognises a garden as an outdoor room. Grid system

Outdoor room John Brookes started designing gardens in the late 1950s and was influential in the modern garden design movement which took place in the late 1950s and 1960s. Garden design was no longer a luxury afforded to the wealthy, but instead it could be applied to everyone with an outdoor space. His approach was to provide a garden that worked in sync with the architecture and character of the house and its inhabitants. His philosophy that: “gardens are fundamentally a place for the use by people” was bought to the mainstream when releasing his first book Room Outside published in 1969. This book has

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When first starting any design, it always begins with the ‘grid system’ a method developed by Brookes that uses a grid as a means of imposing discipline on a design. A survey of the house and garden is laid onto a piece of paper, then a series of vertical and horizontal lines taken from key features of the house, with windows and doors being the main point of reference, are projected onto the paper creating a grid. Using the grid as a reference, the layout of the garden can be created and a strong visual connection that joins the house and garden is achieved. I like bold confident geometry in my gardens and use strong dynamic lines. Using the grid system gives me the confidence to do this. Sadly, John passed away earlier this year, this was met with a resounding acknowledgement in the trade that we had lost one of our most inspiring and ground-breaking pioneers. His legacy lives on

through his books, teachings and the John Brooks Lifetime Achievement Award which recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to garden design. Out of all the garden books I have purchased online and collated from charity shops, this book has stood the test of time. I have recently had a cull of my books as I now go online mainly for inspiration and research. This book however remains on my desk and is often open and being consulted, it’s an institution in garden design.

17/10/2018 16:39



CONOR GALLINAGH Pro Landscaper catches up with YoungHort ambassador Conor Gallinagh who tells us about his early start in the industry and how he’s already teaching the next generation of horticulturists

How did you get into horticulture? I got into horticulture at a very young age. Our family business, Gallinagh Finn Valley Nursery, is a tree nursery and garden centre, and that’s where my interest and passion really started to grow. Over the years it developed, and I fell more and more in love with it, so I decided to go and study a degree in Horticulture at University College Dublin (UCD).

I LOVE INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION AND SEEING THEM LEARN AND PROGRESS What’s your current role? My 9–5 job is a nursery technician at Kildalton College Nursery, with my primary role being in education. I teach the next generation of horticulturists skills like plant propagation, plant identification, nursery management, marketing – all the skills of the nursery. I also manage a commercial nursery and run a blog and social media channels.

How did you become a YoungHort ambassador? From day one of entering horticulture, I always wanted to help encourage and inspire more horticulturists to join the industry. That’s the

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reason I started my blog and the social media work, to share my story and connect with others. I was in contact with other YoungHort ambassadors around the time the position was advertised, so decided to apply. The whole idea behind it is to showcase the industry and encourage more people – especially young people – into the industry. I love inspiring the next generation and seeing them learn and progress. What’s your favourite part of being in the industry? I love the challenges that horticulture and landscaping brings. You think you know it all one day, but then the next it’ll all have changed and there’ll be new things to learn. There’s always something new happening, and there’s always a new project to challenge you – that’s what I like the most. You say you want to inspire young people to join landscaping – why do you think people should enter the industry? There are so many different sectors and areas that people can get involved with. People with different skill sets can find their niche, there’s so much to choose from. Also, it’s great for your health – working outdoors and with plants is really good for you.

my greatest experience was contract growing more than 125,000 new plants for Aldi on the nursery. What I’m proudest of, though, is seeing students graduate at the end of every year and watching them learn. Seeing that sparkle in their eye and that they want to do something in the industry is great. You kind of light a little bit of a passion in them. What’s next for you? I have a lot of interesting plans for the next few months, but they’re all in the pipeline so I can’t say too much! But if you follow me on social media, I’ll be posting regular updates there. I also want to do more with my blog and social media after a busy couple of months. It’s a great way to encourage younger generations into horticulture. Make sure to follow Conor on Twitter @ConorGallinagh, and check out his blog at

What’s been your greatest achievement so far? I’ve had so many, it’s hard to pick one! This year Pro Landscaper / November 2018 125

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17/10/2018 11:16



Pro Landscaper speaks with Richard Waterworth, head of sales at Isuzu Truck UK about their CARE programme, range of products and what’s next for the company

Can you tell us a little more about Isuzu Truck? Isuzu Truck UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Isuzu Motors Japan, the world’s largest Richard Waterworth commercial vehicle diesel engine manufacturer. Founded in 1996 by Nikki King, the company has developed a UK network of over 50 dealerships strategically located around the country, servicing both large fleet operators and smaller businesses alike. Can you tell us more about the ‘CARE’ programme? The CARE programme was designed to make life easier for truck owners and operators. As soon as their new truck is registered and on the road, every Isuzu truck customer is assigned a Customer Liaison Executive, who will be in regular contact with them for the duration of their three-year warranty. The executives are empowered to address customers’ concerns and help them rectify any run-of-the-mill issues they may face when operating a commercial vehicle.

What are the main products you supply? We supply commercial vehicles from 3.5tn gross vehicle weight (gvw) up to 13.5tn gvw to the UK market. We can either supply pre-built driveaway vehicles, such as tippers and dropsiders, or we can supply the chassis and work with them to source the best body for their truck. Our Driveaway range of tippers and dropsiders are very popular, especially at 3.5tn gvw, but we also realise that some customers have more specialist requirements.

What are the key selling points of your products? At 3.5 tn, our trucks are robust and reliable. They can handle an impressive amount of mileage during the course of their working life, and customers are often pleasantly surprised at how tough and durable they prove to be. At 7.5tn, our trucks have long been admired for their impressive payload carrying capacity, which is often superior to that of our competitors’ vehicles. All of our vehicles come with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, which includes free roadside assistance. Dual passenger airbags are also standard across our range. How do you market your company? Our marketing strategy includes a number of more

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Company name Isuzu Truck UK Address Isuzu House, 164 Great North Road, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 5JN Tel 01707 282930 Email Social Media @IsuzuTruckUK Web

traditional tactics, such as print advertising and exhibitions, alongside online and social media promotion. Our focus in 2018 has been on the Grafter Green, and we’ve taken the truck to every show we’ve attended this year. Are you releasing any new products in the coming months? Our newest model is the 3.5tn Grafter Green, which was released in the UK at the start of 2018. The new truck features a more efficient 1.9L diesel engine, new six-speed gearbox and improved suspension. It’s proven to be a really popular choice for our construction and landscaping customers, and the weight saved with the new engine has significantly increased the payload offered by the vehicle. We also have a semi-automatic gearbox available in early 2019, which is ideal for urban operations. What’s the next step for the company? Although our customers are very happy with the reliability and durability of our vehicle range, we continue to work closely with our Japanese colleagues to improve our offering. At the larger weight range, we have a 13.5tn vehicle coming to market, which would suit larger landscaping companies and garden centres that carry out regular deliveries. Our engineers are constantly working to ensure that our vehicles make use of the latest engine technology and adhere to all new European legislation. Pro Landscaper / November 2018 127

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For full details on all jobs, please goFor to full details on all jobs, please go to Call 01903 777 587 or email vacancy. Call 01903 777with 584your or email with your vacancy



Award winning Milton Keynes based landscape construction company requires an experienced Hard Landscape Estimator to assist in delivering multi-million-pound high profile projects. This role is ideally suited to a highly qualified team player with drive, enthusiasm and a passion for the landscape industry. The ideal candidate should possess proven experience of hard landscape works estimating and knowledge of MS Project or similar estimating software package. Full driving licence required as company is based in rural location. Salary dependent upon qualifications, background and experience. Permanent, full-time role. For more details please go to

The Sales & Development Director position is an exciting new board level role that has been created to focus and strengthen the company strategy of targeted growth and a wider organisational sales culture. The postholder will take full responsibility for achieving the national sales and bid development targets to underpin the business growth and future profitability. The postholder will identify opportunities, develop new revenue streams and submit winning bids. They will be degree educated or equivalent, financially astute with proven commercial acumen. A recognised industry related qualification is desirable. For more details please go to



We are looking for a Bid Manager to join our growing ecological contracting business. You will be responsible for preparing tenders, quotations, and documentation for new contracts. Our contracts range in value from £5k to £5million. You will be involved from initial enquiry, through to site visits. This will include estimating, bid-writing, pre-award presentations and contract negotiation. You will have a positive ‘can do’ attitude, adopting flexibility with working hours when necessary. This role will be based from our offices at Surrey Research Park. The successful candidate will live within commuting distance of Guildford or be prepared to relocate. For more details please go to

We currently have a unique opportunity for a Landscaping Working Supervisor to supervise an in-house team of dedicated and experienced landscaping operatives .In the role you will be responsible for supervising an experienced team, providing hands on help with a range of practical landscaping projects, ensuring day to day operation resources are in place to effectively undertake work programmes agreed. The successful candidate will hold a relevant professional landscaping qualification to a minimum Certificate in Horticulture/Landscaping, NVQ Level 2 experience at a management level. You will be based at the Red Lodge Depot. A van will be provided for work use. 37 hours per week For more details please go to



An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Assistant Head Grounds Person to join the Grounds Section at the University of Essex. You will report to the Head Grounds Person. You will work as part of the Sports Field team and also on your own to maintain and develop the grass sports pitches. To maintain tennis courts and synthetic pitches to a very high standard. You will need 5 GCSE Grades A-C, or equal, including in English and Mathematics and an NVQ in Amenity Horticulture and Sports Field Maintenance level 2 or equal. Certificate in safe use of pesticides (e.g. NPTC PA1 & PA6.) For more details please go to

The Landscape Estimator role will be an integral part of the Civic Trees business development and sales function. This position would suit a motivated individual looking to develop their career. the successful candidate will lead the pricing and compiling of tenders and proposals to win new business. The role offers opportunities to enhance and develop skills, whilst also contributing to the company’s growth and success. Experience with tendering in the landscaping industry is essential. Also demonstrable strong numerical ability as well as written skills. A good level of competency in Microsoft Office, in particular Excel, is essential. For more details please go to





ASPIRE PERSONNEL Location: Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire Our client is an Award Winning Commercial Landscape and Arboricultural Company based in Milton Keynes. Through continued growth they are looking to recruit a Quantity Surveyor with Landscape or Construction industry experience. Must have experience in pricing hard and soft construction, fencing and ground works. The successful candidate will prepare tender and contract documents, maintain awareness of landscaping and construction sectors – industry news, trends and developments as well as company competitors. Proven track record in quantity surveyor role in varied projects from within the Landscaping / Construction Industries. Full, clean driving license essential. For more details please go to

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17/10/2018 16:54

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SAM MOORE Assistant garden designer, Cube 1994

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Very much so. I have created one with Writtle University College in 2015 at the Ideal Home Home Show, as well as helping Andrew Fisher Tomlin on a couple at RHS Hampton Court and Graham Bodle at RHS Chelsea. I always come back from these inspired with new ideas and fresh enthusiasm for gardens. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Turkey, I love the hilly landscape... as well as the sun!

One thing that you think would make the industry better? I think there has got to be more emphasis on getting people to apply the skills they learn in college or university to real life projects. Best piece of trivia you know? The longest English word having only a single vowel is strengths Role model as a child? Frank Lampard, the dream of being a footballer was quite a short-lived one! Couldn’t get through the week without... A beer on a Friday with the team at Cube!

What would you blow your budget on? Planting. Well executed planting always makes a garden look 110% better. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Luciano Giubbilei. I love his style of garden.

Your favourite joke? Somebody complimented me on my driving today, they left a little note and it said: “Parking Fine” Best invention in recent years? I love how interconnected devices can be and how easily we can now contact each other, it’s really useful for work and keeping in touch with friends and family.

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Pro Landscaper asks quick-fire questions to gain a small insight into the people who make up our industry. To take part email


OLIVER NEAVES Garden designer, Tectonic

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Inspirational – I remember when I went to my open day before joining Capel Manor College. The first inspiring show garden I saw was the Australian Garden designed by Jim Fogarty, which I fell in love with. From this point, I knew I wanted a career in garden design. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Malaysia.

What would you blow your budget on?

Landscaping materials. One thing that you think would make the industry better? Encouraging more people and showing how important horticulture is. It would be great to see more green spaces actually being used. Best piece of trivia you know? The amazing Ginkgo Biloba was the only tree to survive the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Your favourite joke? Q: How many gardeners does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Three. One to change the bulb and two to argue about whether it’s the right time of year and which way up it goes!

18/10/2018 16:26


ED HIGGINS Architectural/horticultural designer, Hosta Consulting

A new city centre urban park for Nottingham.

Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Not always. The best have a new story to tell, are realistic in their budgets, and can be explored by visitors in three dimensions. It is also important that the materials are reused. Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most?

A few summers ago I trekked through Northern Sweden, 250 kilometres in the Arctic Circle, an area relatively untouched by humans. The abundance of species was astonishing.

The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Luis Barragan is someone I would have liked to have met.

What would you blow your budget on?

One thing that you think would make the

industry better? A better understanding of how nature works. Best piece of trivia you know? Ice cream was invented by an architect. Your favourite joke? I had a job drilling holes for water – it was well boring.



Contracts manager and estimator, E Williams Landscapes

Business development manager, Mitie Landscapes

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? The Riads in Marrakech (Morocco) were a good eyeopener about what could be achieved in a small courtyard space with water features, planting and vibrant colours.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? More education in schools. Both to bring more young people into the industry with good core skills for landscaping and horticulture but also to educate clients.


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Best piece of trivia The one you know? person in the © t Gr rs The most common pub industry you’d ae tt e me L a m b /S h u name in the UK is The love to meet? Red Lion. Possibly a little cheesy,

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Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park is my favourite event of the year.

industry better? The sharing of ideas of how to make the industry better!

Other than the UK, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Italy!

Couldn’t get through the week without... Coffee!

Role model as a child? Steve Jobs.

Your favourite joke? What happened to the frog when his car broke down? He got toad away!

What would you blow your budget on? An Aldi R8 or an Everton season ticket.


but growing up watching Groundforce on TV it would be a childhood dream to meet Alan, Charlie and Tommy.

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Garden shows/show gardens – inspirational or not? Definitely inspirational, and great to see new ideas.



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t harn s it r / S h u t One thing that you think would make the

Best invention in recent years? iPhone.

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